Lauper Has What She Wants


Now that the word is out on her pregnancy, fans relate to Cyndi Lauper on a different, more confiding level.

“There are women who come up to me and they say things, some reassuring, some horrifying–it depends on how you look at it,” the singer says, bemused.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” she says, not talking of her pregnancy now, but of being on the road with Tina Turner. “It’s pretty great to be touring with another woman. It’s so romantic, don’t you think ?”

At age 43, Cyndi Lauper seems to have arrived at a point in her life where she clearly is content and enjoying what she is doing. It isn’t necessary to pull out damp clichés about motherhood-fulfilment-identification as a facile explanation because Cyndi has been identifying with women and telling their stories all along.

Yet, as far as the North American media are concerned, what the news of her pregnancy has done is to focus on her story. This is what we find.

In 1983, she was the first woman to have four top-five singles from one album, She’s So Unusual, the vitality of which was crystalized but also stigmatized by the song “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.

Everybody got the “fun” message of it, but missed the feminist subtext and the ethnic diversity of the women in the subsequent video.

By the follow-up album, True Colors, Cyndi Lauper’s bird of paradise wardrobe and chirpy exuberance weren’t new anymore and North America more or less ignored her.

Elsewhere, however, Cyndi Lauper flourished, her “best of” album, Twelve Deadly Cyns, selling in the millions in Europe, Japan, South America, all places where she has toured to great reception.

With her Sisters of Avalon album, a wildly diverse, self-assured spectrum of grooves and emotions, she has come back, more or less, to find North America ready for her again. This, too, is what we find.

Cyndi Lauper, the film and TV actress. Cyndi Lauper, the director and producer. Cyndi Lauper, the multi-instrumentalist songwriter. Cyndi Lauper, the woman who helped pave the way for the women of strong character and flamboyant image whose careers are thriving today.

While Sisters of Avalon maintains the pop quotient, it also delves into world music, hip-hop beats, rock, even flavorings of country.

It also dares to be introspective one moment, enraged another. “Love to Hate”, for example, is a bracing track that is its own statement about Alanis and the breed of angry young women rockers without actually saying so.

“That’s a real person doing that.” Lauper explains the album’s musical and emotional range. “Every time I see something in real life, I want to write about it and reflect it. I mean, I don’t listen to just one radio station; I listen to four.

“Music has become one note-so one-dimensional. You don’t have a whole person you can look to or hold onto.”

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