Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Beauty & Crime - Suzanne Vega

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It seems almost strange that Beauty & Crime is Vega's first album since 2001's Songs Of Red & Gray (she has kept busy in the mean-time with touring, and playing virtual gigs in the online world of Second Life) but almost immediately you realise that that makes it her first album since 9/11 had it's permanent effect on the place that Vega calls home, New York.

The spectre undoubtedly hangs over the album. Anniversary is the most obvious and explicit statement about the tragedy, but there are strong echoes in the likes of Zephyr And I (which includes dreamy backing vocals from KT Tunstall) and Angel's Doorway (which sees Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo providing some guitar riffs).

I will admit that it's nothing particularly new, but then Suzanne Vega has no need to change. Always a class act, this album is no different.

The literate lyrics are as punchy and relevant as ever and most of all the feeling as a listener is one of realising just how pleased you are she is back and the realisation that we've been missing something for the past six years. Here's hoping we don't have to wait that long for the next one.

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