Cyndi Lauper / The Body Acoustic

The Body AcousticThe Body Acoustic is the ninth studio album released by Cyndi Lauper. It consists of ten previously released tracks which have been re-recorded and re-arranged acoustically, as well as two entirely new songs. The album title is a play on Walt Whitman‘s poem “I Sing the Body Electric”, with the word body in this case referring to Lauper’s body of work as a recording artist. The album features a number of special guests, including Adam Lazzara, Shaggy, Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Beck, Vivian Green, Ani DiFranco, and Puffy AmiYumi.

The Analysis:

Money Changes Everything [w/Adam Lazzara]—-This has always been my favorite Lauper songs simply because of the remarkable energy of the whole thing. Make no mistake, this acoustic version is trimmed down but never looses any of the energy that drove it into my brain for a lifetime. For me the best part about this new stripped down version is the fiddle that plays in the backdrop. Lauper keeps all of her quirky vocal intact and gives the song a whole new slant…this is delicious…I love the harmonies supplied by Lazzara….still a favorite.

All Through The Night [w/Shaggy]—-Wow, this is wonderful. With an almost Alt-Country feel to the song, the last thing you expect to hear his shaggy breaking through with the intro to the song. none the less, when Lauper begins to sing, you know that this is how this track was supposed to be heard to begin with. This is lush with arrangements and stays fairly true to the original. Shaggy adds a nice interesting touch to the song though…the last thing that you would expect to work…but it is magical. This is a bit of sheer genius!!!

Time After Time [w/Sarah McLachlan]—-Of course, this collaboration is a no-brainer. Who could think of two purer voices to sing such a tender and heartbreaking song together. The result is nothing less than stellar as Lauper delivers her most tender voice and Sarah sounds even more haunting than ever.This is sheer beauty…I could never ask for more. This is better than the original…staying in my brain for days and bringing magical tears to my eyes. Brilliant!

She Bop—-Again, one questions how this hi-energy song would work with an acoustic treatment. Make no bones about it…with a fantastic arrangement by Lauper, this is a magical rendition…taking on a more natural feel that works so well it quickly becomes one of my favorite tracks on this eclectic release. Lauper sings in such a natural and accessible tone that you are amazed how well she sounds without all the squeaks and squelches…this is stellar!

Above The Clouds [w/Jeff Beck]—-Beck provides a huge soaring guitar track for this song…as Lauper reaches into your chest and grabs your heart from its cavity and leaves it laying beating on the ground for all to see. This is so full of natural emotion and heartfelt lyrics you wonder why Lauper has not released more stuff like this. This leaves me feeling a bit sad and sorry for myself, but the sun also rises and there is sun around the corner. thanks for sharing you with us Cyndi…..fantastic!!!

I’ll Be Your River [w/Vivian Green]—-Long time band mate Green joins Lauper on this heartfelt plea of a song…begging another to rely on one as one depends on another. This is lush with arrangement and atmosphere…Lauper sounds so natural in this setting….seemingly made to sing songs in this manner as well as her more hyper alter-ego. This has a slight Country twang that plays so well….I love this.

Sister Of Avalon [w/Ani DiFranco]—-This is a bit more upbeat with a nice drum base that leads off the track. the guitar is amazing and the vocal from Ani is nothing less than stellar. I wish these two would record an entire release together…I think it would do well. This has such a nice organic feel to it…and when DiFranco joins in it deepens even more. This is a magical moment caught on record for eternity…and I could not be happier.

Shine—-This is rather bombastic at the onset for being an acoustic song. Still, when Lauper begins to sing with her strong vocal, you know that this is much more restrained than it could be. This is another really favorite track of mine…simply because it really shows the remarkable strength of Lauper’s voice. If anyone thinks that this woman can not sing…just give this a listen…this is magical in any form. A shining example of pure and unadulterated talent.

True Colors—-A landmark Lauper recording that proved to the world Lauper was more than a one hit wonder, this differs little from the original version. It adds a bit more heaviness to the feel of the song and leaves you a bit sadder, but that is kind of the point. This is remarkable…reminding us that there are so many releases to choose stellar tracks from. Lauper is amazing!!!

Winters Edge [w/Sarah McLachlan]—-Piano based and reminding me of the intro to Bridge Over Troubled Water, Lauper enters with her vocal and delivers line after line of tender lyrics that make you tear up with no effort. the music is layered and swelling with a slight string arrangement that leaves you damn near devastated. When Sarah adds her vocal and gentle backdrop to the main body of the song, it becomes even larger and more sedate. This is not a happy song…if you are in the wrong frame of mind it may leave you very sad. I choose to concentrate on the beauty of the whole damn thing…this is remarkable!

Fearless—-The song begins almost naked with Lauper playing her Sitar and just her voice allowing for the emotion. Thisis remarkably stripped down and revealing…allowing you to almost peer inside the heart and emotion of the singer. Although the song opens up a bit more as it progresses, you never lose the deep intricate emotional quality of the whole damn thing. This is a moment of magic…one that you find hard to shake…Lauper delivers line after line that makes you want to be the kind of person that someone is searching for…instead of the lazy sloth you have become…this makes you want to be a better person! Wonderful!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun [w/Puffy AmiYumi]—-This is not really what you would consider an acoustic track…this is full of horns and an amped up energy that is in such sharp contrast with the rest of the stuff on this release it is almost impossible to gel with the irony and juxtapose of it all. none the less, this is a classic Lauper track…I much prefer the Reggae version…the horns on this are a bit much for me.

****3/4 out of 5


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