New Musical Express - February 19?, 1997
by Terry Staunton
Just over 13 years ago, two wildly-dressed New York-based women made their top of the pops debut on the same show. Madonna thrust her midriff into the camera and warbled 'Holiday', quickly followed by Cyndi Lauper cavorting around the studio declaring, 'Girls just wanna have fun'.
And where are they now ? Madonna is an icon and award winning actress, probably the most famous female entertainer in the world. Cyndi, on the other hand, is an intermittent hitmaker at best, still plugging her wares on Saturday morning skits with Trev and Simon.
Cyndi's big problem has always been consistency. Whereas Madonna has seemingly always had her finger on the worlds pop pulse, Cyndi tends to throw too much into the mix. For ever glorious moment like 'Time after Time' or 'I drove all night' there's been a corresponding unlistenable aberration like 'The world is stone' or her horrific cover of Marvin Gaye's 'What's going on'.
'Sisters of Avalon' is yet another eclectic Lauper lucky bag, where the tired gospel of the title track rubs shoulders with the cool folk of 'Hot gets a little cold', where the Garbage-esque 'Love to hate' slinks alongside the power balladry of 'Say a prayer'. Such variety may be laudable, but the album suffers from an identity crisis, as if Cyndi's just strung together scizophrenic leftovers from a few years worth of sessions.
She's undoubtedly a better singer than Madonna, frequently a more inspired songwriter, and she could have been an even better pop star. Instead, she's settled for being half a dozen average ones.
Score: 6 out of 10