CD Review: Cyndi Lauper

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Cyndi Lauper
She’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration
Portrait/Epic/Legacy
by David Chiu

She’s So Unusual, Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 solo debut record, is definitely one of the definitive albums of not only the ’80s but arguably of all time. Beyond its huge commercial success, She’s So Unusual is an artistic triumph full of bright, quirky and memorable tunes. Its centerpiece track is “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” a classic song of female empowerment whose message still reverberates three decades later. That’s just for starters as far as hits, from the touching ballad “Time After Time,” through the subversive “She Bop,” to the gorgeous “All Through the Night.” Other notable songs round out the record like “Money Changes Everything,” the reggae-inflected “Witness” and her cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” All of the performances on the record showcases Lauper’s amazing vocal and emotional range, as both a feisty, no-nonsense rocker and an elegant balladeer. It’s not often a performer could make such a splash right off the bat with his or her debut, but with this record, Lauper is the exception. This new reissue of She’s So Unusual contains remixes of “Girls” and “Time After Time” as well as a bonus disc of demos and rarities from the album sessions – one of its highlights is the guitar demo of “Girls,” which is a stark contrast the final recorded version.

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