2014. máj. 05. | 00:00

Suzanne Vega's brand new tales


fokep suzannevegaTales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles, 2014.


What if a genuine city songwriter walks out from her room, leaves the building and finds her way to the Nature? This is the renaissance of creativity, the birth of the artist of the beautiful. If her sight is not bothered by city lights she can rest her eyes on the blue sky and green leaves. If her lungs get rid of the smell of exhaust fumes she can breathe in the scent of fruitful forests and flowering fields. If she takes off her high-heeled shoes she can walk barefoot to feel the grass tickling and springwater washing her feet. If the noises of engines and the buzz of crowded shopping areas disappear her ears open up for the sounds of nature.

As human relations and civilisation do not influence our thoughts and emotions, our creativity and imagination evolves. We need nothing else but a Crack in the Wall and as we step out into the nature we walk through forests, fields, waterfalls, mountains and valleys.There we can hear the sound of our own breath and heartbeat, discover our deepest, suppressed internal feelings,thoughts. As we discover this new world we reconstruct our internal structures and with a clear mind we can think about the reality we have left behind.

The images of Suzanne Vega’s new album are inspired by nature, they were created by the infinite, creative mind, with its freedom reinstated outdoors, in the wilderness. In the very first line, symbolically, the door opens and this is followed by a sequence of romantic poems embedded in music. What we get is the musical revival of the universe of Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge, reinterpreted by twentieth-twenty first century conscience. As we step outside, we forget Marlene, Luka, Frank and Eva, Liverpool, Ludlow Street and New York. Twentieth century themes and images are left in the forsaken room and suddenly we find ourselves in an ageless, unlimited, endless dimension. The folk singer of New York City has transformed into the Queen of Pentacles of tarot cards, the female archetype of the Earth element (Mother of Earth).


Suzanne Vega is not the kind of musician who releases a new album every year. She is either in quiet for a few years or she might synthesize or reinterpret her earlier works, as she did it in 2010-2012 with the Close-Up series. This time she released a set of brand new songs seven years after her previous album. It was Beauty and Crime, the most unforgettable and nearly perfect Suzanne Vega album, which was the return of the soft, harmonic sound of her very first, self-titled LP. The Queen of Pentacles, though, brings back the sound of 99.9 F or Nine Objects of Desire.

The album was produced by Gerry Leonard, whose name sounds familiar for David Bowie fans. He played the guitar at the recording sessions and accompanied Suzanne on her tour. As Leonard reveals it on his blog, this cooperation brought forth not only a renewed sound but also a different work method of writing and recording the songs. The phases of creative process were unique. During her European tour in 2013 Suzanne recorded some beginnings and ideas of new songs on her iPhone. There was no time to elaborate on these concepts, so the decision was made to cut back on the amount of concert dates and meet once a week in a studio in New York City. Here she and the band had enough time and proper conditions to work out the songs and then they played these versions on concerts to test how they work. Instead of recording the tracks of different instruments in isolation and sending them via internet they gathered and spent enough time to write the songs together. Finally, these recordings were finalized with overdubs, such as the featuring of Smikov Chamber Orchestra, singer Catherine Russell, Larry Campbell on banjo, mandolin and cittern, and trumpet overdubs by members of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The album basically relies on the characteristic Suzanne Vega sound but – thanks to the careful producing – it seems that in her musical influences the world has opened for her. The music incorporates significantly more musical impressions and became richer and more eclectic than before. The first album and Beauty and Crime are still my favourites but in terms of musical variety and complexity this is by far the best Suzanne Vega album.

A rejuvenated artist with her flourishing creative power created an unexpectedly wonderful work of art and put a large exclamation mark on the forehead of those who discarded her (i.e. representatives of Blue Note Records).


Suzanne Vega's Website

Author: [kyprios]
Time of publication: 2014.05.05.


Rétegkultúrát bizergáló gyomlálócsoport vagyunk. Egy független kultúrportál, kulturális lap, vagy valahogy így hívják általában. Célunk az általunk értékesnek tartott rétegkulturális produktumok (ándörcuccok) bemutatása, eljuttatása mindenkihez, aki kicsit is nyitott. A hogyan az érdekes leginkább. Tartózkodunk a hagyományos, klasszikus stíltől, teljesen egyedi módon, leginkább az atmoszférára, a hangulatra figyelő impresszív írásokat igyekszünk adni.

Nádas Dávid [stanley]
E-mail: szerk@kulturgyom.hu
Mobil: +36/20 951-1660

Cikkelős kollégás:
Nádas Dávid [stanley]
Kapitány Zoltán [kyprios]
Bakos Gergő [gelu] 

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