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Days of Open Hand

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Album Review

Suzanne Vega is a beautiful example of an artist excelling despite her limitations. While the singer-songwriter doesn't have much of a voice, she has no problem being incredibly expressive. Subtlety is the quality that defines Days of Open Hand, an album every bit as compelling as the superb Solitude Standing. Vega doesn't need to shout or preach in order to get her points across. On "Men in a War," the folk-pop-rock explorer examines the plight of disabled veterans without expressing the type of anger that Bruce Cockburn would when addressing such a subject. Restrained and understated, treasures like "Those Whole Girls (Run in Grace)," "Rusted Pipe" and "Room Off the Street" and the unsettling "Institution Green" show that for all their delicacy, Vega's songs can be quite meaty and give listeners a great deal to think about.

Biography

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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