Cyndi Lauper: She’s So Unusual – A 30th Anniversary Celebration

Posted April 18, 2014 by in New Wave



4/ 5


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Genre: Pop, New Wave, electropop
Producer: Rick Chertoff, William Wittman
Label: Portrait, Epic
Original Release Year: 1983
Release Date: 1 April 2014
Spin This: "Money Changes Everything," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "All Through the Night," "Time After Time"


A classic album restored digitally; 2-CD set features demos, 12" mix and previously unreleased material.


2013 mixes only take segments of songs

Unusually preserved: Debut solo LP from ’80’s icon gets honorary treatment

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Unusually preserved: Debut solo LP from ’80’s icon gets honorary treatment

Debut albums hardly get to sound this good, or grow in legend with the statue of She’s So Unusual, the breakout solo LP for Cyndi Lauper. Described as a true original by blending vintage soul belting with the freshness of New Wave and CBGB-ish punk, Lauper’s 1983 disc never felt like an impromptu science experiment. On paper, it seems that way. But when it plays, something totally different happens. That’s because the thirty-year old Lauper sports a staggering confidence that leaps across the whole gamut of genre-bending selections heard. Whether she’s exploring clever masturbation innuendo on a New Wave rockabilly offering (“She Bop”), messing around with Prince’s kinky sexuality (“When You Were Mine”) or singing a girls’ anthem atop reggae and classic girl-group templates (“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”), Lauper hardly lets a dull moment pass her by. She also isn’t afraid to dress up as rock band frontwoman on “Money Changes Everything,” which showers Eric Bazilian’s highly pronounced guitar lines and John Cougar spunk similar to “Hurts So Good.” On “Witness,” a tune she co-wrote with her former Blue Angel bandmate John Turi, she finds herself parading around well-executed Police-esque grooves. The ballads are also of valuable interest, including the ageless love ballad “Time After Time” and the dreamy made-for-Muzak gem “All Through the Night.”

On the digitally-remastered 30th anniversary disc, “Girl Just Want to Have Fun” is given a rave-inducing makeover from Yolanda Be Cool, which focuses on snippets from Lauper’s original vocal (“you gonna live your life right,” they just wanna, they just wanna”) and the sing-a-long-chorus. It’s hardly complete, which only means it’s good as dancefloor filler. It’s hard to believe that NERVO and Bent Collective (Denny Verde, Steve Redant) had the ballsy idea of turning “Time After Time” into dance mixes. Gay crowds will smile over these inclusions, especially the seven-minute, tribal-pumped Bent Collective mix, but the synthpop patchwork of these tunes isn’t ever going to replace the beauty of Lauper’s original. For celebrative purposes, these 21st century inclusions seem justifiable. But for those seeking for a more complete and authentic tribute, one should turn their attention to the double-disc deluxe edition, which contains 12-inch mixes from the era (like the Arthur Baker remix of “She-Bop”), demos, a B-side from “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (“Right Train, Wrong Track”) and previously unreleased material made during the She’s So Unusual sessions.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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