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  Suzanne Vega
Suzanne Vega Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk- music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what have been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world's best-known halls. In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep emotion. Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibratoless voice that has been described as "a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper" and as "plaintive but disarmingly powerful." Bearing the stamp of a masterful storyteller who "observed the world with a clinically poetic eye." In the words of Stephen Holden of the New York Times [April 29, 1987], her songs focus on city life and ordinary people and on such subjects as childhood trauma, child abuse, spiritual or physical illnesses, loneliness and love. Notably succinct and understated, often cerebral but also streetwise, her lyrics invite multiple interpretations.

With the release in 1987 of Solitude Standing, her second album, and in particular, its hit single "Luka", Vega vaulted to a position of prominence in the world of pop music. Inspired in part by the British group DNA's highly successful 1991 remix of "Tom's Diner," another cut from Solitude Standing, Vega ventured into musical territory she had never before explored to create 99.9 F. Without turning her back on her roots in folk music, with 99.9 F, she stretched the boundaries of that genre still further to encompass what has been variously dubbed industrial folk, technofolk, and technofolk rock. Vega is said to have paved the way for such singers as Tracy Chapman, Michelle Shocked, Edie Brickell, Melissa Etheridge, and Shawn Colvin.

Vega collaborated with Anton Sanko to produce her third album, Days of Open Hand (1990). During its production she tried to learn more about "the way songs work." she revealed to Wayne Robins in New York Newsday [April 17, 1990]. "And I found my voice would go as far as I could push it. I found all new ranges, low parts, and high parts, I even sang with some vibrato. It's a strange thing to feel the music in my body as opposed to just in my mind. She has also been quoted as saying that she intended the songs on the album to "give a sense of resolving the past and looking to the future."

While critical reaction to Days of Open Hand ranged from glowing to dismissive, the reception accorded 99.9 F (1992) was overwhelmingly favorable. Working for the first time with Mitchell Froom, who produced 99.9 F, Vega entered a new musical domain, "hopscotch[ing] from industrial rock to girl-group pop to dreamy psychedelia," as Stephanie Zacharek reported in the Boston Phoenix [September 11, 1992]. In a conversation with Laura Lee Davies for the British magazine Time Out [August 12-19, 1992], Vega explained her willingness to try what she termed "jumping off musical cliffs". "I guess a lot of things in my life had changed", she said. "Some long-term relationships had broken up in the last year, and I was working without my usual band. That added to the feeling of recklessness". She has also attributed her openness to musical experimentation in "relax[ing] ... and allow[ing] more of [her] personality to come out."

"I'm reserved," Suzanne Vega once said. "But I'm not timid." "Her wispy visage and lean graceful frame often leave the impression of a fragile being," Marcia B. Merson wrote in BSide [April/May 1993]. "Yet, Suzanne is nothing near fragile in body, mind or spirit." Gary Graff of the New York Daily News [July 19, 1987] described Vega as "tough-minded, outspoken, humorous, and direct." "She is surprisingly articulate." according to Anthony Scaduto. "Interviewing many pop music personalities is like driving through fog, but Vega is direct, unambiguous, candid."

   
 
Songs In Red And Gray
CD $18.99 catalog# svcd-100
Songs In Red And Gray
Tried and True - Best of Suzanne Vega
CD $28.99 catalog# svcd-101
Tried and True - Best of Suzanne Vega
Nine Objects Of Desire
CD $17.99 catalog# am540583
Nine Objects Of Desire
99.9 F
CD $11.99 catalog# am54005
99.9 F
Bad Wisdom
Days of Open Hand
CD $11.99 catalog# am5293
Days of Open Hand
Big Space
Solitude Standing
CD $11.99 catalog# am5136
Solitude Standing
Suzanne Vega
CD $11.99 catalog# am5072
Suzanne Vega
 
 


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