Album: Cyndi Lauper <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

The Body Acoustic, EPIC
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The Independent Culture

The wordplay in the title is perfectly apt: following 2003's collection mostly of Sixties covers, At Last, Cyndi Lauper here applies her makeover talents to her own back-catalogue, aiming to replace the dated Eighties settings with something a little less synthetic. Indeed, on several tracks she backs herself on dulcimer - there are fewer more folksily authentic instruments. It works beautifully: joined by fluttering organ (so to speak), it lends the sinister tone of an old folk ballad to the masturbation anthem "She Bop", and illuminates the gorgeous melodies of "All Through the Night" and "Time After Time" even more brightly than on the original versions. "Money Changes Everything", too, acquires the feel of a whiskery, moralising country standard through the deft combination of fiddle, melodica and handclaps, while "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" sounds custom-built to fit its new horn-laden ska-punk arrangement. And although she's not had a hit for ages, Lauper's not lost her songwriting gift: there are new songs among the hits, of which the most impressive is "Water's Edge", in which she marries a haunting melody to a well-turned expression of romantic obsession.

DOWNLOAD THIS: All Through the Night, She Bop, Time After Time, Water's Edge