sure, she’s so unusual. but pay no attention to her hair or her newspaper shard skirt. really.
forget about the fact that this song has been used by countless advertisers — kodak included — to shill products. cyndi lauper’s true colors is a magnificent anthem about loving yourself, an appropriate song for a woman who has grown to become an important human activist as well as respected artist. [as an aside, i know the boys in BC’s 4th grade chorus think the song is a joke (the 4th grade is singing all 80s songs this year in their performance this week), but i hope some of the kids hear the words and take a little something away from the song.]
in the video, you watch lauper progress from a little girl to a confident grown woman. i always loved lauper’s videos — she rarely has conventionally pretty people in them, and true colors is no different (unless you’re the one person who thinks that her perpetual video love interest is attractive.)
what i love best about this song is how lauper’s voice starts in a child-like whisper and grows to become a full-out aural assault. when i listen to modern singers, i seldom hear any sort of artistic buildup in their voices. it’s all about the vocal acrobatics. not that people on american idol aren’t impressive (to someone; not usually my cup of tea, i seldom ever see that show); not that the folks out there who use never-ending vibrato and who glide up and down the scales a thousand times while delivering the star spangled banner don’t have talent. but for a lot of these folks, it’s about showing off their pipes, not emoting with them.
lauper can hit several octaves. she also knows she doesn’t need to use them in every. single. song. it’s all about using what you have to create a statement.
and that, combined with the powerful message of the song, is why i love it. so i won’t be afraid to let you all know that i adore true colors.
it’s beautiful. like a sonic rainbow.