Memphis Blues

Studio Album by released in 2010
Memphis Blues's tracklist:
Just Your Fool (feat. Charlie Musselwhite)
Shattered Dreams (feat. Allen Toussaint)
Early in the Mornin' (feat. Allen Toussaint & B.B. King)
Romance in the Dark
How Blue Can You Get? (feat. Johnny Lang)
Down Don't Bother Me (feat. Charlie Musselwhite)
Don't Cry No More
Rollin' & Tumblin' (feat. Ann Peebles)
Down So Low
Mother Earth (feat. Allen Toussaint)
Crossroads (feat. Johnny Lang)

Memphis Blues review

Cyndi Lauper is always ready to her hand at new genres

They say that success is only 10 percent of talent and 90 percent of persistent labor. No doubt a lot of artists confirm this statement as well as that talent evolves in the working process, it gets polished and becomes something inalterable. This is especially obvious when a performer releases albums throughout many years, suffers rises and falls and never gives up. Cyndi Lauper is exactly such a singer. Although her fame pick was in the last decade and a half of the last century she spends a considerable amount of time in studio and on stage being aware that her fans are still waiting for her new hits. Cyndi presented them with a danceable album Bring Ya To The Brink in 2008, on which some new songs were placed together with the remixes of her most popular compositions from the previous works. The artist demonstrated her being faithful to herself back then: her creative work has been based on her readiness to try her hand at new genres from the very beginning. The tendency continues two years later on her new record Memphis Blues opening an absolutely new side of Cyndi Lauper’s talent.

Most of the tracks on Memphis Blues are collaborations

In fact the possessor of a husky voice has a particular feature – whatever the genre she performs it always comes out as something unique and unusual. The new record Memphis Blues, too, proves to be a refined blues collection with a bit piquant flavor that only Cyndi Lauper can add. Besides, it is enough to look at the track-list once to see that most of the tracks are collaborations. The singer has preferred to work with the genre’s lawmakers to preserve its special atmosphere on each song. One can make sure on the very first track Just Your Fool featuring Charlie Musselwhite: refined with harmonica it charges with its positive mood and makes one think of a cozy bar with a large scene pn which smiling musicians are playing. Allen Toussaint joins Cyndi on a piano blues Shattered Dreams, definitely one of the album’s highlights, and on Early in the Morning together with B.B. King. The latter is quite a contagious number with some humor in the lyrics and a complicated changing tune. The duo with Jonny Lang How Blue Can You Get also deserves praise, it is full of emotions and sounds lightly and naturally at the same time. Three tracks performed by Cyndi herself, Romance in the Dark, Don’t Cry No More and Down So Low become a nice part of the entire record although her somewhat rough manner of performance probably does not correspond to the blues fans’ expectances. It is especially noticeable when Cyndi sings with Ann Peebles and Kenny Brown on Rollin and Tumblin, one of the most interesting and memorable compositions on the album. The record closes with a melodious blues Cross Roads, once again refined with Johnny Lang’s amazing vocals and a guitar playing its own independent part.

A blues performer not devoid of sense of humor and self irony

Cyndi’s vocals are by no means weaker, the charm and sincerity that were in it at the beginning of her creative work are still there. The lower notes on Memphis Blues gain a bit rough form and one needs to get used to that at first, because soon this misbalance becomes a part of the general, rather harmonious structure. The fact is that Cyndi has actually never tried to prove anything to anybody or been challenging. Her only interest is the music she is fond of since childhood. The new record creates a new image of Cyndi Lauper: a blues performer not devoid of sense of humor and self irony. The latter has arguably always been the singer’s characteristic bit this time around it has really served her own good – some songs on Memphis Blues would be a complete failure it taken too serious. As a result we can enjoy the smooth combinations of guitars, drums, harmonica, tubes, backing vocals, very expressive tunes and lyrics full of love, and smile together with Cyndi when vulnerable and anguished, a bit childish notes appear in her voice. It does not matter whether the album Memphis Blues ends up as the best or the worst album in the singer’s rich discography, the important thing is that it has once again confirmed her reputation of a brave, extravagant and self-sufficient artist.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (29.06.2010)
Rate review2.71
Total votes - 7


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