Cyndi Lauper: Memphis Blues (Inertia)

 |   |  <1 min read

Cyndi Lauper: Shattered Dreams (with Allen Toussaint)
Cyndi Lauper: Memphis Blues (Inertia)

Even those of us who would still mount the argument that Cyndi Lauper was -- and remains -- a far greater talent than her peer, Madonna, might approach this album with some trepidation: just as Dusty and Elvis went to Memphis to record some of their finest songs, so now has Cyndi -- but a rather different, more bluesy Memphis than that which drew the sophisticated Ms Springfield.

But with a guest list which includes B.B. King, Jonny Lang, Charlie Musselwhite, the great Ann Peebles and Allen Toussaint, as well as a whip-crack session band with horns and organ, Lauper delivers an album of blues songs which is by turns restrained (not a feature you might identify her by) or full of earthy raunchiness and sensuality (her version of Early in the Morning with Toussaint and King, How Blue Can You Get? with Lang).

She also proves herself (again) a thoroughly convincing torch-blues singer (the aching Romance in the Dark), can get in behind a New Orleans gumbo beat (the too-short Don't Cry No More) and edgy rock-blues (Rollin' and Tumbin' with Peebles, Crossroads with Lang).

If Lauper doesn't at times quite pull out the Etta James-style throat-tearing she is capable of (Down Don't Bother Me, maybe a little more in Crossroads) you'll still conclude that this unexpected excursion has been very worthwhile for all parties. And us.

Can't see that Material Girl goin' down to Memphis and delivering the goods. Case closed on that argument. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Haunted Love: Spirit Revival (Round Trip Mars)

Haunted Love: Spirit Revival (Round Trip Mars)

Some CD cover photos -- like Feelstyle's Break it to Pieces and the most recent Whirimako Black album -- just cry out for vinyl-size reproduction. Yvonne Todd's striking photo on the cover of this... > Read more

Barry Saunders: Zodiac (Ode)

Barry Saunders: Zodiac (Ode)

By my count this is Saunders' fifth solo album, and is by far the strongest from the Warratah frontman. He reaches to the Phoenix Foundation for a downhome(ly) remake of their Going Fishing and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various, Urban Asian (Nascente/Triton)

Various, Urban Asian (Nascente/Triton)

Two of my sons live in Brixton and one of exciting things about walking the streets -- aside from being offered drugs every 10 paces -- is the soundtrack booming out of shops and cars: old reggae... > Read more

THE STORY OF THE SEMER LABEL (2016): The fall and rise of the house of Hirsch

THE STORY OF THE SEMER LABEL (2016): The fall and rise of the house of Hirsch

Tragically, it seems, the appalling lessons humanity should have learned from the Nazi era have been forgotten – or worse, not even known – by far too many people today. While... > Read more