Fifteen years ago, Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual" found an unlikely home underneath many a child's Christmas tree. In the years since her short-lived, florescent heyday, Lauper has remained true to herself and to her sound -- a vocally potent quirkiness tempered with a teary, childlike whisper. Lauper pulls out her snide face to have a Christmas party on her own terms, even taking a moment out of the absurd "Christmas Conga" to sneer, "Oh, and by the way, have a nice life!"
Donning a dulcimer through the mostly charming, Celtic-flavored set, Lauper rouses a winsome pastiche. Her vocals on the simple, low-key album closer, "Silent Night," couldn't be more affected, but the beautiful original "December Child" may be her finest moment to date. Given the circumstances, we can only hope that more of these moments await.
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