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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

Worth a listen

Solitude standing is an easy listening album.Luka is probably the best known track and toms diner was rereleased a few years later as a dance track.Suzanne Vegas' voice is partcularly mellow and is the whole album.

supreme songs stunningly sang

Anyone who likes good quality music which has been beautifully crafted will enjoy this album

standing, sitting, lying down... your choice

Just been reappreciating the quiet majesty of Ms. Vega's hushed masterwork. Still her biggest-selling album, Solitude Standing also produced her three biggest hits - the ever-mysterious Tom's Diner, where one can only wonder at whether it's just casual observation or some deep dwelling on the hidden mysteries of life - Luka, the cheeriest song about domestic abuse ever committed to tape, and... er, Tom's Diner again (not the remixed version, which was fine, but here the original and best, and also instrumentally revisited). Vega's voice may be ever-downbeat, poised and understated but there is a subtle, hypnotic quality to her delivery which is expertly supplemented by the ghostly minimalism or her musical cohorts' accompaniment and the wandering literary musings of Vega's lyrical bent. And if you can't afford a trip to Spanish Harlem or the Upper West Side, just stick Solitude on the old virtual turntable and you'll be floating off to NY '85 in no time. And yes, you can still hear the bells of the cath-eeee-dral...


Born: 11 July 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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