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Solitude Standing

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Album Review

The songs on Solitude Standing, Suzanne Vega's second album, had years listed beside them on the lyric sheet, so you could see that some of them dated back to 1978. But that bold admission heralded the album's triumph — its diversity was what made it so good. Partially, that was because the old songs were the equal of anything on the first album — tunes like the a cappella slice-of-life "Tom's Diner" and the warmly romantic "Gypsy" simply wouldn't have fit thematically on the debut. On Solitude Standing, however, they became part of an album of story songs set in a variety of musical contexts; many had band arrangements, and in fact, members of Vega's touring band often were credited as co-writers. Additionally, Vega had developed more as a singer without losing the focused intonation that had made her debut — one of many compelling elements which helped make "Luka," a character song about domestic abuse, a fluke hit.

Customer Reviews

More Than Expected

I was always a fan of the songs of Janis Ian, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading, Sade and Pheobe Snow (anybody out there remember her?). Well, I have to add Suzanne Vega to this list of mega-talent. In fact, I give this album a complete thumbs up. She has this wonderful mix of her unique wispy, soft vocal style with the starkly clear and picturesque lyrics which often portray some of the cold realities of our environment that we live in.

A Work of Art.

How sad that this artist's audience is shrinking due to lack of marketing flair. Her work is deep and varied and there is much to discover within each song. She was once a big hit, but is now an awesome little secret to her fans. If you like honest-to-goodness poetry sang with just the right amount of narrative dissonance. If you enjoy Tracy Chapman, Phoebe Snow (Yes, I remember) or Dido, this is worth the listen.

A Cappella

Apparently this version means that there is no music, just voice. Not at all what I thought I was purchasing. Too bad I'll end up deleting and re-purchasing the version I wanted avec music!


Born: July 11, 1959 in Santa Monica, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Suzanne Vega was the first major figure in the bumper crop of female singer/songwriters who rose to prominence during the late '80s and '90s. Her hushed, restrained folk-pop and highly literate lyrics (inspired chiefly by Leonard Cohen, as well as Lou Reed and Bob Dylan) laid the initial musical groundwork for what later became the trademark sound of Lilith Fair (a tour on which she was a regular). Moreover, her left-field hit single "Luka" helped convince record companies that folk-styled singer/songwriters...
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