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Beauty & Crime

Suzanne VegaAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Price: $17.02 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Zephyr & I 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Ludlow Street 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. New York Is A Woman 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pornographer's Dream 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Frank & Ava 2:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Edith Wharton's Figurines 2:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Bound 4:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Unbound 3:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. As You Are Now 2:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Angel's Doorway 2:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Anniversary 2:59$1.29  Buy MP3 


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Biography

Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut ... Read more in Amazon's Suzanne Vega Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Beauty & Crime + Nine Objects Of Desire + Solitude Standing
Price for all three: $37.48

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000H6SU9A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

With a career spanning more than two decades, Suzanne Vega has long stressed quality over quantity. It's no surprise, therefore, that her first release in six years is more than worth the wait. Her eye for detail, laconic vocal cool, and thematic focus on New York City continue to distinguish her artistry, but the sonic sheen applied by British producer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Hogarth sparks a musical renewal. Crisp guitar riffing recalls the streetwise work of fellow New York chronicler Lou Reed, while chamber strings, electronic atmospherics, and multitracked background vocals lift the results well beyond the folk realm. Vega writes from a perspective of memory and maturity, recalling the New York of old on "Zephyr & I" and "Ludlow Street," showing the musical sophistication of bittersweet seduction on "New York Is a Woman," applying a musical Brazilian wax to "Pornographer's Dream," and contemplating her life as a wife on "Bound" and as a mother on the lullaby "As You Are Now." The results are richly satisfying throughout. --Don McLeese

Product Description

On Beauty & Crime, Suzanne Vega's Blue Note Records debut, the Manhattan native uses New York City as the backdrop for a collection of eleven new songs that juxtapose acoustic guitar-driven melodies with coolly synthesized beats; intensely personal lyrics with compelling, short story-like narratives; images of today's scarred cityscape with memories of Vega's old Upper West Side 'hood and Lower East Side haunts. The past commingles with the present, the public with the private, familiar sounds with the utterly new, just like the city itself. Making her first new studio album in six years, Vega says, "I feel like I really stretched my limits. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone--to sing in keys I wouldn't have sung in before, to work with different textures, to be unafraid of doing what ever sounded good to me. I wanted to make a modern classic."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Suzanne Vega may be an acquired taste but after you've taken a drink of her latest album, you'll find it both intoxicating and difficult to give up. Admittedly there are those who dislike her hushed vocal delivery (which sounds at times like a female Lou Reed with echoes of Bob Dylan/Leonard Cohen where she isn't trying to "sing" the material so much as "discuss" her observations). I love Vega's delivery so sue me. She's a literate songwriter whose lyrics provide a nice constrast to the music which veers from folk, jazz, elements of techno sometimes within the same song.

"Beauty and Crime" is one of her best albums musically. This concept album about her adopted home New York is a loving and sometimes blunt assessment of the city that surrounds her and has been her muse off and on over the past twenty years. Vega has often taken stylistic detours sometimes off the beaten path like her flirtation with the techno elements that decorated "99.9f" and the smooth samba beat that showed up on "Nine Objects of Desire". Unlike those two albums the production of Jimmy Hogarth is less distracting and self-conscious than those two albums allowing the quality of the songs to shine through. For those that are interested the Japanese release has one extra song that comes in at just under two minutes. It's a good song but you won't miss it (unlike "Golden" from "Songs of Red and Gray) if you purchase the U.S. release of the album.

"Zephyr & I" and "Ludlow Street" have some of the most inviting melodies/arrangements since Vega's breakthrough album. "New York is a Woman" uses a pretty plain metaphor to describe a visitors first visit to the Big Apple. Vega's presentation is pretty straight forward folk outside of the occasional use of horns to decorate the song.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's Like A Fine Wine, She Gets Better With Age July 20, 2007
Format:Audio CD
When I picked up Suzanne Vega's seventh studio release "Beauty & Crime", I did what a lot of people do these days - I ripped MP3 files for my computer. When I saw that the total time of the songs was only 34 minutes, I was a little disappointed because I have waited 6 years for her follow-up to the terrific "Songs in Red and Gray". But then I played the songs. Wow! The lady still has the magic. Although the songs are pretty short (only one exceeds 4 minutes and I actually think that song - "Bound" - drags on a little too long), they pack a punch. Personal favorites are "Edith Wharton's Figurines", "Unbound" and the one everyone seems to like, "New York is a Woman", which is about a suburban man's first trip to New York City. As a suburban man who will soon take his first trip to New York, I feel like Suzanne just gave me a tour!

I thought the CD was great and I hope she sees enough success with it that we'll hear from her again, hopefully sooner than 6 years from now. I'm looking forward to seeing her for the first time live later this year.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suzanne Offers Some of Her Best Work to Date April 17, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Thematically, this is the most consistent album Suzanne has presented to date. I think "New York is a Woman" and "Pornographer's Dream" rank up there with the best songs she has ever written. "Edith Wharton's Figurines" and "Anniversary" are also good too and Suzanne covers a lot of intellectual and emotional territory over the course of the album. There is a lot here and I think it is especially lovely how "Anniversary" ties the whole album together at the end: "make time for all your possibilities, they live on every street."

For me, the album is worth buying just for "New York is a Woman" and "Pornographer's Dream." To me these songs represent Suzanne performing at her lyrical and musical peak and I was surprised and delighted to find such great songs on this album because let's face it, it's been awhile. That being said, absent these two songs it would be a much weaker album as many of the other songs lyrically and musically lean further in the direction of pop than Suzanne typically goes. In one respect this is good because it means the album offers "something for everyone" both folk and pop fans alike. However, this is what holds me back from giving the album a full five star rating. For Suzanne Vega fans, hands down it's worth buying. For first time listeners, I'd direct them to earlier albums Suzanne Vega and/or Solitude Standing so they can appreciate this later album in the context of her prior work, then come back and enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is so good, it SHOULD be a crime March 3, 2008
Format:Audio CD
As far as Billboard charts go, the only successes Suzanne Vega probably had were "Luka" and "Tom's Diner". But chart positions don't necessarily reflect quality, as her latest album Beauty & Crime might be her best work yet.

Though this is the first studio album Suzanne has released since 2001's Songs in Red and Gray, the break suited her well because this album never runs out of highlights (but it's not like Songs in Red and Gray was a bad album either). "Frank & Ava", "Zephyr & I" and "Ludlow Street" are storytelling gems, "New York is a Woman" and "Edith Wharton's Figurines" are well-thought-out metaphors, and "Angel's Doorway" is very creative. The back-to-back "Bound" and "Unbound" also compliment each other nicely.

Suzanne Vega might not be as popular as she used to be but Beauty & Crime proves that her music is still indeed beautiful, so pick it up.

Anthony Rupert
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Remaster, please!!
It has taken me almost two years to realize what a great album this is. I'm a big fan of SV's, but my initial reaction to Beauty and Crime was that it was unfinished and uneven. Read more
Published 21 months ago by rabbitfish63
5.0 out of 5 stars New is old
Not having heard any Suzanne Vega since "Songs In Red and Gray", I was curious to see where she was musically these days. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mister Tomatoe
4.0 out of 5 stars A high point in a career of high points
Suzanne Vega's always been labeled a folkie, and while there's truth to that, the label has always told only half a story. Beauty & Crime was such a natural progression to me. Read more
Published on January 3, 2011 by Jay Six
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome CD, Awesome Condition, Awesome Purchase!
Was very pleased with my purchase! CD arrived in record breaking time for "standard shipping" (within a few days!) and was in great condition.
Published on December 7, 2010 by NBCpianist
4.0 out of 5 stars casing soso, otherwise as expected
The case is kinda collapsing, but the disc is fine, and the transaction was prompt. So 4 stars altogether. You can't expect much from a used CD anyway.
Published on November 29, 2010 by Dongming Yin
5.0 out of 5 stars this beauty is criminal
another gem from suzanne vega
the depth and production values are, as usual, superb
i definite must for suzanne's fan base
and not a bad first exposure to her... Read more
Published on August 3, 2009 by Timothy Harding
4.0 out of 5 stars More sophistocated but misses the warmth of Solitude Standing
I fell in love with Suzanne Vega from Solitude Standing. This is probably the best work by Suzanne Vega in my opinion- beautiful melodies, a poet's heart for words and imagery,... Read more
Published on June 4, 2009 by Mose Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty & Crime
Beauty & Crime being Vega's 7th studio album and her 2007 release and when it was released the critics gave it many positive reviews, i.e., Allmusic gave it 4 stars. Read more
Published on June 4, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
4.0 out of 5 stars A quietly satisfying album
Suzanne Vega has never again hit the heights of brilliance that she hit on her first three albums, which were almost audacious in their creation of a modern folk paradigm, or her... Read more
Published on February 3, 2009 by E. L. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of her best work, excellent sonics
This has to be some of her best work ever! If your a Vega fan of ANY of her past works, this CD will sure to make you happy.
I think its her best work ever. Read more
Published on November 3, 2008 by W. Mullins
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Release date of "Beauty & Crime" by Suzanne Vega
OK here's what I find annoying. I went out of my way to "buy" the CD and Vega's offering an exclusive tune at itunes where I have to "buy" the whole album again to get this one single song (either that or I can pay $30.00 for the import). This type of crap has got to stop.... Read more
Jul 25, 2007 by Wayne Klein |  See all 3 posts
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