Cyndi Lauper — Queens, New York native/1980s' pop princess — travels down south for a new album that veers far off her beaten path of catchy, throwaway tunes. Memphis Blues is the surprise 11th studio album from Lauper's long-running career (over 25 years and counting).
This latest musical effort comes with full support of Blues Legends like B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Charlie Musselwhite, and Ann Peebles. But it almost never happened.
Lauper told the New York Daily News that her label didn't want her to make a blues album. Instead, she was asked to make an acoustic reinterpretation of her former hits. Now with an imprint, she has been able to create Memphis Blues.
“Who do you know who’s not singing the blues these days?” Lauper says. “There are no jobs. The album reflects the times."
Early reviews report that she may be missing one essential part of a blues singer — soul. As far as performance is concerned, I don't hear anything completely disheartening. Her raspy voice suits the style of singing, but it's just not the genre in which she excels.
The cover "Romance in the Dark" is well composed. The closest to Lauper coming full circle to a reinvention is the "Crossroads" cover with Jonny Lang. At least, it's a move away from reality TV.
Lauper was recently on The Celebrity Apprentice and is working with that show's famed producer, Mark Burnett, on her own reality program that would follow her life with her family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Lauper's blues album gets released tomorrow, her 57th birthday.
It's a little different than this: