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Close-Up, Vol. 1: Love Songs

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iTunes Review

At heart, Suzanne Vega was always a folksinger. Her commercial breakthrough in the ‘80s with “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner” from her second album, Solitude Standing, balanced between her roots and the realities of the marketplace. She enjoyed experimenting on her records and sketched out new territory for singer-songwriters. But it’s always a pleasure to hear her music stripped to its essentials. Here, she re-records her favorite love songs and sings in her beautiful, unforced way while acoustic guitars, a little bass (“If You Were In My Movie”) and some electric instrumentation accents her thoughtful tunes. “Marlene On the Wall” and “Small Blue Thing” were early club favorites and “Gypsy” is an overlooked piece of perfection from Solitude Standing. “Songs In Red and Gray,” “Stockings” and “Bound” prove she hasn’t lost anything over the years. Vega’s an overlooked talent, a master of phrasing and inflection, who manages to add a rhythmic dimension to her music not with excessive percussion but with her voice’s ability to pace a lyric with deliberate precision.

Customer Reviews

Wonderful to hear her artistry again

Suzanne Vega is a treasure. As tough as it is for an artist to maintain relevance over a few decades, some artists chose to simply make their art, and let the marketplace do what it will. After her stellar appearance on the scene, she seemed to continue perfecting her gifts: her clear, sensual singing voice and the strong poetry of her words. Her albums from the last three decades still hold up really well, and she the misfortune to release what is arguably her best album, Songs in Red and Grey, on Sept. 11th, 2001 (!). I didn't even know about the album, and when I bought it years later, I can only surmise that it's release date is the only reason it didn't make the splash it should have.
When I think about what I love so much Suzanne Vega, it's her voice, and her writing; and she has chosen to highlight those qualities with these "Close Up" releases. The first one is called "Vol. 1- Love Songs", and we are promised three more (I believe). God, I hope so.
This may be the best way to experience her music; that astounding voice, that has only gotten richer, and the simple and startling poetry of her words and chords. On her website she talks about these albums being 'gifts' to her fans, and that couldn't be truer. They are also gifts to people who love the human voice, a well-played acoustic guitar, and a great song. I would say that "Caramel" or "Stockings" would be a good introduction to her, but honestly I think any of these songs will tell you what you are in for. For what it is, this album is a steal at ten bucks; if you like one song, just get the whole thing.
Thanks for the gift, Suzanne.

Brilliant Singer Song Writer

Just saw her live in Lafayette, La......Wow...I have all 4 of the Close-up cd's and they are well worth the purchase. She is right up there with Janis Ian, James Taylor, Mac MacAnally and Harry Chapin. Singer, songwriter and storyteller...


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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