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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Time may still prove me right

It's funny how things work out.

When I was in elementary school, two of the most popular, well, pop stars were Cyndi Lauper and Madonna.

There was no middle ground. You were in either the Lauper camp or the Madonna camp. Many a knife fight ended in blood over who was deemed superior.

All right, I lie. But continuing in the theme of questionable memories, I recall being in the minority as I prefered Lauper. There were other fans, but most people went for the obvious sex appeal of Madonna.

I didn't hate her, but I sort of felt that I had to pick one over the other.

Musically, it was a no-brainer. Lauper has one hell of a set of pipes. She could and can blow Madge out of the water with her lips closed. The songs on her debut album She's So Unusual were fun, quirky, and moving in turn. It was a timely album, sure, full of popalicious goodness, but it had a variety of musical styles, including a touch of a 1920s sounding ditty in the track "He's So Unsusual".

However, even in grade six, the personal was political. I also chose Lauper because she was goofy, silly, less "sexy". It seemed not only treasonous, but out of place that I should prefer Madonna. She was too trendy, too empty. I figured time would be kinder to Lauper, since she was obviously more talented.

As time has passed, Madonna's career has been the more impressive, as far as record sales and tabloid ink. Forgive me - that's overly dismissive. Madonna has been in complete and utter control of her career since the beginning and it's admirable. I like a lot of her songs, and have even considered writing a thesis based on her lyrics (well, the lyrics she sings - I'm not sure how many of them she writes).

Lauper, still the more capable vocalist, has had a career as long as Madonna's. Recently, she's turned to standards. She's a respected artist.

Who knows who's career is better? It depend on the criteria. Lauper has more space to explore in a way. One could argue that she's following a truer path, since she doesn't have such a high position in the music heirarchy to retain. Madonna's constanly changing (I was going to write "evolving", then thought better of it) image takes brains and guts, but it's becoming desperate. There's a reason people tend to focus on her persona more than her music.

At the end of the day, I still choose Cyndi over Madonna. I mean, come on - Madonna hasn't even released a Christmas album.

Update: Do not hesitate to paticipate in the PCL poll!


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