It took 6 years for SUZANNE VEGA to make this half an hour CD but calm panache and detailed imagery make up for the brevity. These are some wonderful songs here. It is deeply personal and frank, addressing topics such as the death of her brother, divorce and love for her daughter.
Her voice still carries that wonderful husk as it rides, most times, atop trotting beats accompanied by skilful guitars. And it flies us into her adopted city, New York, where clever songwriting observes and discusses. New York is the woman, legs spread, inviting us all for conversations with its colourful people.
“Out on the corner by the Fireman’s Monument, this was the place where all the fatherless teenagers went. Well the wind kicks in the smell of rain, the kids are gone but the soul remains. The graffiti’s gone and the walls complain, the flowers go but the earth must still remain.”
Provocative and classy, Beauty & Crime is good as a whole but ‘Zephyr & I’, ‘Pornographer’s Dream’ and ‘Ludlow Street’ ‘are that extra special. It’s contemporary rather than alternate like her famous debut Solitude Standing was. It probably doesn’t belong in this rock site yet gets an appreciative nod and a good review because SUZANNE VEGA, simply, writes damn well.