"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, November 06, 2009

La Vie en Rose

At Last - Cyndi Lauper (2003)

I honestly cannot remember how I discovered this album. But I do know that I discovered it a few days after it's release (maybe I read a review). I was 13 years old when I first heard Ms. Lauper sing (1983). Of course my girlhood sensibilities were quite attuned to the singer's bombastic vocal style and outrageous fashion sense.

Cyndi - mature, lush, amazing...

Understandably, as I matured and time passed, I moved on to different genres of music. Cyndi Lauper became a pleasant girlhood memory. But when I learned that Ms. Lauper had released a jazz cd - At Last, I was intrigued. The fact that she sang glorious bubble-gum pop 'back-in-the-day' did not faze me one bit. Because, quite simply, the girl can sing! I ordered it without a moment's hesitation - I'm so glad that I did.

Lady in red

Before I listened to it, I read the liner notes and was fascinated. "I grew up in Ozone Park, Queens...a melting pot, where Germans, Italians, Russians, and around the block African Americans lived...for all the cultural differences, we all had [one] thing in common - a love of music." Okay, I thought, I'm feeling this cd before I've even listened to it. Then I pressed play...and was blown away. See what I mean?

At Last

At Last is an anomalous assemblage of songs that are connected by Ms. Lauper's best girlhood memories and her soaring haunting delivery. I guess that you could say that this is her 'unplugged' album - only a piano, sparse precussion, violins, and a cello accompany her. The results are so incredible that, for Christmas 2003, I ordered nearly a dozen copies and gave them to every important woman in my life (age range: 33-70). They raved, and continued to rave, about this album to this day. Tracks of exceptional excellence: At Last, Walk On By, Unchained Melody and Until You Come Back to Me.

Until You Come Back to Me

What is the Paris connection you ask? The best song on the cd - La Vie en Rose. I love Edif Piaf as much as the next Paris loving girl. But, let's face it - Ms. Piaf was a 'stylist,' Ms. Lauper is a singer of incredible range and talent. And she utilizes every ounce of it on this album. Each song is sparse, soothing, beautifully orchestrated, and amazingly sung.

The mood of this cd is distinctly Parisian - moody, emotional, soaring, sexy, just a little bit dark. It literally transports you to a cafe's sidewalk terrace on the banks of the Seine or a smoky jazz club in the Latin Quarter. See what I mean?

La Vie en Rose

So put "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" into the farthest recesses of your mind and go get this cd! You'll find it at Amazon for $8. I'd love to know what you think. Did it take you to Paris?

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


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