.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/06c90370a4ee934743119e6424b802b67e4e4e85.PNG She's So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper

She's So Unusual

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
January 19, 1984

Brooklyn-bred Cyndi Lauper sounds like no other singer on the current scene. She may be the finest female junk-rock vocalist since the heyday of the great Maureen Gray, more than twenty years ago. Like Gray, a black Philadelphian who had a string of local hits in the Sixties, Lauper has a wild and wonderful skyrocket of a voice — the epitome of pre-Beatles girl-group pop — and at her best, as she often is on this smartly produced solo debut, she sounds like a missing musical link with that long-gone golden age.

 

But She's So Unusual is no mere oldies pastiche. Lauper's already been that route with her former band, Blue Angel (on whose 1981 album she came as close to the girl-group grail as is probably possible with the breathtaking "Maybe He'll Know"). Here, boosted by a powerful, synth-based band, Lauper turns away from nouveau trash and trains her talent on some really first-rate material. In the process, she comes up with two instant hits: a thundering "Money Changes Everything" (in its original version, by the Brains, one of the great lost anthems of the Seventies) and a breathy, beautiful cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine." She also has a good, goofy time with Robert Hazard's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," does an almost tasteful reading of Jules Shear's attractive "All through the Night" and makes like Cars-meet-Eurythmics on the riff-stoked "She Bop." There are some problems: "Witness" founders in its own aimlessness, and "He's So Unusual," a brief, cutesy antique from the Twenties, has no business being on the record. But when Lauper's extraordinary pipes connect with the right material, the results sound like the beginning of a whole new golden age.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com