Suzanne Vega

Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles - RCA 1974

Tracks: 1. Crack in the Wall / 2. Fool's Complaint / 3. I Never Wear White /4. Portrait of the Knight of Wands / 5. Don't Uncork what you Can't Contain / 6. Jacob and the Angel / 7. Silver Bridge / 8. Song of the Stoic / 9. Laying on of Hands / 10. Horizon


Strong and long-awaited album from Suzanne Vega. After four albums with remakes of her old songs Suzanne Vega is back with a great album with new original songs. The album is tastefully produced by guitarist Gerry Leonard, who also contributed on the two previous studio albums , "Songs in Red and Gray" and "Beauty and Crime", with his fine guitar playing. Other old acquaintances in the backing group include drummer Doug Yowell and bassist Mike Visceglia .

In her own personal and subdued way delivers Vega melodic and quiet music at the border between folk and rock. Gerry Leonardís production is an excellent continuation of the previous albums ; individual tracks even bring evoke of the two lengendary Mitchell Froom -produced albums " 99.9F " and "Nine Objects of Desire" . The greatest songs are at the album's beginning and end, with some of the more anonymous numbers placed in the middle.

Very catchy and pretty rocking is the opening track "Crack in the Wall", which is followed by the equally strong "Fool's Complaint", which has quite a bit in common with "I'll Never be Your Maggie Mae" from "Songs in Red and Gray". Also "I Never Wear White" is in the rocking/bluesy end of the scale.

"Portrait of the Knight of Wands" is a quiet acoustic song that could have been taken from Vega's first album. More experimenting is "Do not Uncork what You Canít Contain", which is flavoured with oriental-sounding strings . Also " Jacob and the Angel " is accompanied by the Czech Smickow Chamber Orchestra . "Silver Bridge" is a quiet rocker with a fine chorus.

Especially interesting is the final trio of songs. "Song of the Stoic" and "Laying on of Hands" arte arranged with intersting beats and sounds like they were from an old Mitchell Froom production . "Laying on of Hands" also has a lot in common with JJ Cale's " After Midnight" . The final track "Horizon" is a beautiful and great finale that could easily bring up a lump in the throat.

Nice to hear that Vega is still capable of creating new music at the highest level. And of course it must be added, that she is lyrically still among the very best in her field.

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