Sisters Of Avalon - Cyndi Lauper (Epic) In her 1980s heyday, Cydni Lauper was 'little miss most likely'. Her good-humoured mix of rebel and nice girl looked certain to win out over the pop slavery and blonde ambition of another emerging star known as Madonna. The upshot, as we know, was different. Unperturbed, Lauper soldiered on without ever regaining the fun and urgency of 1984's She's So Unusual. A little older and a lot wiser, she now delivers her most cohesive collection since that sparkling debut. But do not call it a comeback. Her 1993 set, Hat Full Of Stars, and 1995's greatest-hits remix 12 Deadly Cyns And Then Some had served notice to staunch fans and passing admirers alike that she was still a contender. Sisters is the killer blow. Another dozen typically style-switching moves, it harnesses all of Lauper's considerable talents as both singer and songwriter with five or six standout singles. But it is lyrically that Lauper's maturity is best showcased. The indie-guitar anti-drug rocker, Love To Hate, puts the Crows and Morissettes to shame while railing against the 'fashion fascists out in droves, some with powder up their nose'. While on Hot Gets A Little Cold she turns out a pastoral love ballad that would not be out of place among the best of Crowded House. Elsewhere the strokes are even broader, as she experiments with dance, hip-hop and even reggae with equally delightful results. A winner by unanimous decision.