Listen Up: Wednesday, October 1, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Suzanne Vega

Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega (A&M Records)

By Brian Abrams

She has the essence of Woodstock princess Joni Mitchell in one hand and the diva sympathies of a young Annie Lennox in the other. Suzanne Vega makes one big fist and mashes together a universally pleasing sound that epitomizes early-’90s pop nuevo (Natalie Merchant, Cocteau Twins). And, much like those sorority sisters, Suzanne Vega — after almost 20 years of recording — has not yet fallen into the circular file.

Needless to say, many artists who stand the test of time have done so by appealing to as many ears as possible. Vega does it all — radio pop, Americana, even R&B. And her voice is so full of vigor and youth that no one would suspect she even had a career previous to her smash, “Tom’s Diner.” But she did. Surprisingly, she’s been around long enough to warrant an anthology, Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega. Whether it be the hits picked up by KISS-FM or B-sides that ducked the Top 40 over the years, Retrospective compiles both her sexy broods and cheery womanpower anthems into a vibrant block of music through which carpool moms and starving artists can all celebrate Vega’s groovy white-diva jam.


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