I am glad to report that after a year of delays some new Cyndi Lauper material is now available in stores! It's not the album that was planned, but this EP titled "Shine" contains 4 songs and a remix of the title track. The cover art shows a simple close-up of a brunette Cyndi. I wonder how long she’ll commit to that color? "Shine" is the rather charged title song about individual potential. It really showcases Cyndi's always-strong vocal chops and high energy. This is definitely the strongest single. "It's Hard To Be Me" slams the current state of the entertainment industry with a very pop beat. Cyndi's tongue-in-cheek lyrics mock the vacuous and over-exposed entertainers of today. No names mentioned here, but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks. "Madonna Wh*re" points out the hypocrisy in the world's view of women while embracing all a woman can be. It is not as strong as the other songs but quite an anthem for apolitical feminism. "Water's Edge" is a ballad sung the way that only Cyndi can. There's just something so honest and hopeful about her voice that can inspire no matter what the lyrics. Some would argue that this is where Cyndi really shines. "Shine (The Illicit Mix)" is the kind of over-produced dance mix that sound best in a club environment. I do like it, but the original is far superior to this remix that drums much of the life out of the song. That’s the nature of the remix anyway. I am amazed how difficult it is for a real artist to release an album these days. In a world of Brittany Spears "Milli-Vanilli" types who have little to say but "look at my boobs and oh, yeah - drink Pepsi" it astounds me that Cyndi - who has proven her talent, who can perform live without a back-up track and who still has much to say - can't get this music to the public! What I do find encouraging about this release is that is seems the fans were instrumental in it. The label and credits reflect that this release was put out by the fans (Rella Music/cyndilauper.com) with some help from Oglio Entertainment. Power to the fans! And this, just as Palisades involvement with us Muppet fans, proves that we as fans do have the power if we can learn to focus it.