Suzanne Vega

Songs of Family - Suzanne Vega 2012

Tracks: 1 Rosemary / 2 Honeymoon Suite / 3 World Before Columbus / 4 As You Are Now / 5 Soap And Water / 6 Widow's Walk / 7 Blood Sings / 8. Bad Wisdom / 9 Ludlow Street / 10 Tired Of Sleeping / 11 Pilgrimage / 12 Brother Mine / 13. The Silver Lady / 14. Daddy is White


Suzanne Vega's fourth and last CD in the re-recording series "Close Up" has the theme "Famliy". As was the case with the first three CDs, it is a pleasure to hear Vega’s retakes on her own songs which in this case also makes room for three very early and previously unreleased songs that were written before the 1985 debut album.

Lyrically, these three songs naturally bear the mark of being written by a younger and less mature Vega, but all are nice acquaintances and actually quite different. "Brother Mine" is an almost up-beat song with a piano adding to the bass and guitar accompaniment. "Silver Lady" is a nice silent acoustic song, which Vega reportedly had at the live repertoire the early years. "Daddy is White" is partly spoken and has a certain musical relationship with "Walk on the Wild Side".

Compared with the original versions, most songs are more sparsely instrumented, but guitarist and arranger Gerry Leonard provides both variety and terrific guitar-playing, and with perhaps a few exceptions ("Tired of Sleeping" and "Pilgrimage"), the songs measure well with the originals . In particular, I find "Rosemary", "World Before Columbus", "Honeymoon Suite" and "Ludlow Street" very successful.

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