Friday, January 11, 2008

Zephyr & I

Best of 2007

Song: Zephyr & I
Artist: Suzanne Vega
Album: Beauty & Crime

One of the more overlooked albums of the year (I haven’t yet seen it on any best of year lists) was certainly Suzanne Vega’s fun, complex, and beautiful “Beauty & Crime.” A return to form after the divorce album (and therefore mostly downer) “Songs in Red & Gray,” “Beauty” is a song cycle of various New York City stories. 9-11 hangs in the background of these songs, as Vega creates characters dealing with love, loss, and the grand city itself. There’s also a new return to fun in her music, as evident in the opening track, “Zephyr & I,” about the famed graffiti artist. Acoustic guitar and persistent drums hit the forefront while Vega harmonizes with herself and even light synthesizers create a dreamlike vibe as the bridge connects to the lyric and beat driven body of the song. One of my favorites of the year.

Vega has always been a poet, and yet her words fit within her melodies so perfectly. She certainly deserves the kind of career boost that fellow 80’s singer-songwriter Aimee Mann received a couple years ago. Like Mann, she has the uncanny ability to fit the perfect words into her songs. I certainly would list her as one of my favorites of all time.

If you’re a fan of Vega’s this is essential, or of you’re just looking for a great folk-pop record, you’ve found it.


Frank & Eva

1 comment:

Briguy said...

The harmony vocal on Zephyr and I is actually KT Tunstall, which I thought was a cool matchup.