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At Last
     

At Last

3.3 9
by Cyndi Lauper
 

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On At Last, Cyndi Lauper puts away her past by taking on the songs of the past. This collection of standards of all sorts, from R&B hits to vintage pop songs to international classics, allows Lauper to discard her persistent image as a New Wave pop star and transform herself into an adaptable first-rank vocalist. Lauper always had the goods when it came to

Overview

On At Last, Cyndi Lauper puts away her past by taking on the songs of the past. This collection of standards of all sorts, from R&B hits to vintage pop songs to international classics, allows Lauper to discard her persistent image as a New Wave pop star and transform herself into an adaptable first-rank vocalist. Lauper always had the goods when it came to singing, but her broad characterizations often obscured her talents. Not so here. Comfortable with a panoply of styles, Lauper exhibits exceptional skills as an expressive interpreter of song. Sure, she’s still having fun, but now Lauper has officially taken on new dimensions of vocal artistry.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
As the girl who just wants to have fun, Cyndi Lauper became an '80s music icon with her flamboyant style, powerful baby-doll voice, and quirky songs, but as time and tastes moved on, her playful persona wore thin and attempts at becoming a more serious artist failed to regain her dwindling audience. With At Last, Lauper steps even further away from that playful image to become the girl who just wants to sing as she tackles a set of pop standards that showcase her underrated voice. Although occasionally shrill and reckless, Lauper's forceful tones can be quite moving and awe-inspiring when corralled into the proper setting, as with her bluesy take on Etta James' "At Last." With its lazy tempo and minimal arrangement, Lauper is able to relax and convey the lyrics in one of her most mature and affecting performances. Even more low-key is the whisper quiet of "Walk on By," in which she turns Dionne Warwick's midtempo gem into a dark tale of mourning by sadly singing the lyrics over a crawling tempo. Getting a Tori Amos-style ballad treatment is the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which lets Lauper's rock roots rise to the surface with her edgy performance. While some of her song choices work, others fall flat, like "La Vie en Rose," in which her slightly ragged reading is too rough for the delicate song. Also misfiring is her corny duet with Tony Bennett, "Makin' Whoopee," where the voices of these two New Yorkers clash like stripes and plaids. Lauper also has a little too much fun with Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' "Stay," as she reverts back to her boisterous voice of yesteryear and disrupts the mature tone of the disc. Although the results are mixed, At Last does focus on Cyndi Lauper's best asset -- her voice -- and may help to rejuvenate a career in which the personality unfortunately overshadowed the talent.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/18/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969076026
catalogNumber:
90760

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cyndi Lauper   Primary Artist
Ronnie Cuber   Bass Clarinet
Elena Barere   Violin,Concert Master
Clayton Cameron   Drums
Don Sebesky   Conductor
Kathleen Dyson   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Sheila E.   Percussion
Mitch Frohman   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Steve Gaboury   Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Melodica
Joyce Hammann   Violin
Aaron Heick   Flute
Rob Hyman   Hammond Organ
Paul Langosch   Bass
Jeanne LeBlanc   Celli
Ann Leathers   Violin
Richard Locker   Celli
Rob Mathes   Keyboards
Nancy McAlhany   Violin
Sammy Merendino   Drums
Jan Mullen   Violin
Lee Musiker   Piano
Gray Sargent   Guitar
William Wittman   Bass
Stevie Wonder   Harmonica
Frederick Zlotkin   Celli
Carol Emanuel   Harp
Allison Cornell   Violin,Viola
Paul Woodiel   Violin
John Walsh   Trumpet
Narcisco Figueroa   Violin
Ben Street   Bass
Katherine LiVolsi Stern   Violin
Lawrence Glazener   Bass
Steve Jordan   Drums
Jonathan Dinklage   Violin
Gerard Reuter   Oboe
Dan Reagen   Trombone
Stacey Shames   Harp
Mark Stewart   Cello

Technical Credits

Cyndi Lauper   Producer,Vocal Arrangements,String Arrangements,Piano Arrangement
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Maurice Williams   Composer
Jacques Brel   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Edith Piaf   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Rod McKuen   Composer
Bennie Benjamin   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Walter Donaldson   Composer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Kathleen Dyson   Arranger,Track Arrangement
Sheila E.   Track Arrangement
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Steve Gaboury   Arranger,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements,Track Arrangement,Flute Arrangement,Piano Arrangement
Mack Gordon   Composer
Rob Hyman   Arranger
Gus Kahn   Composer
Rob Mathes   rhythm arrangement
Sammy Merendino   Track Arrangement
Lee Musiker   rhythm arrangement
Alex North   Composer
Dave O'Donnell   Basic Track
C. Paul   Composer
Clarence Paul   Composer
Russ Titelman   Producer,Vocal Arrangements,String Arrangements,Track Arrangement,Piano Arrangement
Harry Warren   Composer
William Wittman   Arranger,Engineer,Track Arrangement
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Hy Zaret   Composer
Allison Cornell   String Arrangements
Femi Jiya   Engineer
Ben Street   Arranger
Lucho Cueto   Horn Arrangements
Sean Evans   Art Direction,Photo Composites
Sheri G. Lee   Art Direction
Rodney Smith   Original Photography
Marcel Louiguy   Composer
Sol Marcus   Composer
Marguerite Monnot   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Dave Bennet   Engineer
Morris Broadnax   Composer
Gloria Caldwell   Composer
Eddie Constantine   Composer
Steve Jordan   Arranger
Rebbecca Arnold   Photo Composites
R. S. Lourgay   Composer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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At Last 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always was aware of those 4 octive pipes from Ms. Lauper however never before has it sounded so good. Growing up under the colorful 80's, I always wondered how Laupers voice would sound over some classic tunes. It was worth the wait. fans of all ages will enjoy this CD. Not only does Ms. Lauper look sensational (now be honest, did you ever think of her looking "hoT"?...you will now!), but she sounds like an angel. "Don't let me be misunderstood" is possibly her best work vocally. No listener can escape the conviction she sings from. "Unchained Melody" is a totally fresh sounding version of this classic that will have pottery wheels turning for years to come. I would have prefered to hear "la Vie en Rose" in a Lauper-French version. That would have been cool. In conclusion, Give "at Last" a listen. I've played it at numerous Dinner & cocktail parties over the holiday season. It was always a hit with guests who constantly asked "is that Cyndi Lauper?" (I could have sold thousands of this CD!) Glad to see Ms. Lauper get some new wings by her recent signing back to Sony Records. I hope that this turns into a return of many more offering of that great Voice. Congrats to Cyndi. And Congrats to Sony
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Cyndi were to have offered these songs as originally recorded and arranged I would have lost all respect for her! The whole idea of standards is that they provide a proving ground for artists to display what makes them special: the listener, if familiar with the song, can separate artist from tunesmith. Standards are durable and no one is going to wreck them. Open minded listeners might actually enjoy them. I love Cyn's sense of humour and the way she plays with Tony Bennett is priceless. She's humble in his presence but the licks she does get in are ace, top notch! She bettered Etta James, sorry... I LOVE Etta so don't get me wrong, but Cyn just perfected that delivery and the modern production values didn't hurt it, either. I'll listen to both and love both always. "Until You Come Back To Me" is one of those songs that always gets done well. Even Basia's version is a delight when taken for what it is. Cyn slows the pace a bit, makes it a wee bit mournful. It's a nice touch. True artists add to a standard when they cover it and Cyn passes this test with flying colors. Someone in here mentions Cyn's pitchiness - which by way is not glaringly obvious on this project. Did that person ever consider that that is Cyndi's singular and unique charm? She's not perfect but always finds the music in the journey and we take the ride with her. In fact we've taken the ride for over 24 years now so she must be doing something a wee bit better than "dead last". Cyndi is one of the most humble major artists I've ever seen in my life. To feel the need to bash her of all people is just plain sicko.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Cindi Lauper but this should have been better. The vocals were not comforting. The music did not suggest the feeling of the intent. The vocals in most of the selections were like running fingernails across a chalk board. I believe if there were better musical and vocal arrangements this would have the Cindi Lauper I know and love. The only appeal to me was the unique image she is and the eloquent performer she portrays====
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe someone let her record another album. On a majority of the songs she is either flat or sharp. I don't think I ever heard her sing on key...She takes some really amazing songs and completely ruins them. Spend your money on something worth while.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this woman, and I've never ever been disappointed by her music. This is a fantastic album, and she makes every song her own, with her large vocal range. She is honestly one of the best singers in recorded history. Give "At Last" a chance, and you may find what your music collection has been missing. Cyndi Lauper is a great musician/artist, and I love her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This project was conceived to showcase Cyndi's voice and it does that extremely well. I had the opportunity to hear Cyndi perform all the tracks on this album at a very exclusive show in NYC and I have to say that they are amazing. Unlike what the reviewer from All Music Guide said, "Stay" is one of the great gems on this album. It's done with a Latin arrangement for which Sony hired excellent Latin musicians. Cyndi's voice soars effortlessly over the Latin accompaniment that usually drowns most singer's voices. As for "La Vie En Rose" she does an excellent job. It could have only been better if she had done it in French. She joked at the show saying: "If you think my English is bad you don't want to hear my French!" I can't comment on the duet with Bennet because I've only heard a sample of that so far (she didn't do it on the show) I really loved every song on this album and I didn't even know most of them since I'm a young fan. Go to www.cyndilaupermusic.com to hear samples from this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good songs, very poorly done. Why they made this, and why anyone who heard it first would buy it, are mysteries. The organ music in "Sunny Side of the Street" is so awful that I thought this must be some horrible joke, but it seems these folks are serious. So many good versions of these songs by other, more attuned, accomplished and inspired artists have been made that this actually left me depressed. If Cyndi still wants to have fun, there are better ways than ruining good music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The songs she sings are classics, and she should have sang them with a bit more respect. I usually don't mind artists putting their own spin on timeless tunes, but she should have left these alone. Except for "at Last" which was ok, the rest of the songs were not easy to listen to. No emotion. Her voice sounding more like an untrained teenagers. I really feel I wasted my money. I was so excited after seeing her on a popular morning program. I thought, finally, she's back. I always enjoyed her. Unless you get Rod or Harry,to do the re-makes, lets just leave those wonderful songs to their original recordings.