April 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Suzanne Vega – Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles

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Suzanne Vega

Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles

Amanuensis Productions

Street: 02.18

Suzanne Vega = Bob Dylan + Laurie Anderson

“Black is the truth/of my situation/and for those of my station/In life/all other colors lie,” Vega ominously sings on the thrillingly catchy “I Never Wear White,” one of many highs on this, her eighth studio album. With a song cycle based on the thin line that separates this world from the spiritual one, here, she shares most of the music-writing credit (a first) and arranging with her producer and guitarist Gerry Leonard (Bowie), but the lyrics are all hers. How does Vega consistently—this far into her career—never fail to surprise? Take the sprightly “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain,” which features an interpolation of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” as it name-checks Macklemore, or the hypnotic hand clapping of “Jacob and the Angel,” which blends seamlessly into orchestration. Ever centric to new Vega material are her melodies, here begging the listener’s repeated revisiting. –Dean O Hillis
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