The original 80’s fun girl who’s based her recent career on re-releases and cover tune nostalgia, Cyndi Lauper is once again revisiting her musical roots. The Body Acoustic
is an acoustic career retrospective with two new songs settled in among nine classics. A second disc includes video footage – but the real treat of this compilation is the appearance of guest musicians Sarah McLachlan, Ani DiFranco, and others.
The disc opens with the upbeat “Money Changes Everything” featuring Taking Back Sunday lead singer Adam Lazzara backing Lauper’s raspy vocals. “All Through the Night” is spiced up with Shaggy’s reggae-pop qualities in a pairing that oddly enough doesn’t stray too far from Lauper’s style.
The classic cover song and the disc’s highlight is “Time After Time.” The sole problem with this remake: once McLachlan’s rich vocals enter into the song on verse two, you begin to wish that you will not again be subjected again to Lauper’s nearly hoarse vocals. But regrettably, they are revived and McLachlan’s fade out. (“True Colors” begins with light guitar picking and strings. It feels soothing until Lauper cuts in – again, probably not the desired effect.) The pair also perform a duet on “Waters Edge,” and this time McLachlan complements Lauper without stealing the stage.
A remake of the title track for her 1996 album, Sisters of Avalon, is feminist and bohemian in nature, and features Ani di Franco’s wailing vocals,”They brought her in, in a new white dress. But the stain left an ache on her mother’s breast. Now all that’s left are the ghostly steps from a distant corridor.”
The disc closes with-what else-“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” But this time it’s spiced up with a surprise cameo by Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, who star in a Cartoon Network series of the same name. Yes, this track’s production is so sugary sweet that it sounds just like cotton candy tastes.
What can be said of this carnival of a career retrospective? Though it may seems she’s trying to make a dead horse gallop, a veteran like Lauper can afford to put out as many remakes as she pleases. So what if her voice gets a little granular sometimes – after all, I’m certain none of us will still putting out albums after 28 years.
In short, Lauper’s fans will adore this collection, and newer listeners will enjoy hearing what makes Cyndi really tick.