Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Set Your Heart

Song: Set Your Heart
Artist; Cyndi Lauper
Album: Bring Ya to the Brink

With high profile projects from 80’s female pop acts such as Janet Jackson and Madonna have recently, and soon-to-be released, I am happy another former chart topper is getting back to some new original material. Cyndi Lauper is set to release her 9th album, “Bring Ya to the Brink” on May 17th. The album is a return to her dance roots after her covers album “At Last” and her acoustic greatest hits set called “The Body Acoustic.” What’s shocking is that this is her first full album of new material released here in the U.S. since 1996’s “Sisters of Avalon.” (I am of course omitting the EP “Shine” which was released here after the full album fell apart post the closing of her then label, Edel America Records. The full record was subsequently released in Japan only and is a big collector’s item here.)

While I’m a fan of Cyndi’s hits, I haven’t spent that much time with her full albums. Unlike Janet and Madonna, Cyndi had a sales slump through the 90’s and has never really fully recovered. She’s worked consistently, don’t get me wrong, and frankly I think she’s an artist that does things from her heart, and not her wallet. With that in mind, it is no surprise to me that the first single of the new album, “Set Your Heart,” is a big disco-infused romp. Cyndi is once again playing the True Colors Tour this summer, a benefit for Human Rights sponsored by Logo, MTV’s gay and lesbian channel this summer and has no doubt re-connected with her gay fans across the country. As a rule, gay fans are typically loyal and possibly Cyndi has just decided to put her energy and efforts into music that will speak to the people that love and support her.

I say that because based on “Set Your Heart,” there really isn’t a chance of reaching beyond this niche audience. It’s way more “disco” than even Madonna’s last record, and music like this just isn’t finding top 40 success. (And part of the reason Madonna has most recently gone Hip Hop.) All that said though, I really like “Set Your Heart.” It’s a hands in the air dance and sing-a-long that showcases, once again, how powerful Cyndi’s voice is. The horns remind me of the Saint Etienne’s “Nothing Can Stop Us,” albeit with a pulsing house beat. Fun stuff!

Looking forward to hear what else the album holds for us.


Here’s Cyndi performing the song at the White Party last November

And one of my favorite songs of hers, which was CRIMINALLY left off of her hits collection… The Goonies 'R' Good Enough!

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