Suzanne Vega album covers

Like Dani Siciliano whom I mentioned in passing, Suzanne Vega is a singstress-songwriter produced by her husband, Mitchell Froom. Or was, actually. After their divorce, she has released one album (Songs in Red and Gray Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) which marks her return to her roots of acoustic guitar folk-pop.

Folk-pop? That’s even worse than that nu-folk of Emiliana Torrini you blogged about earlier. Where’s the chillout beef?, I hear you asking.

There’s of course the classic Tom’s Diner, but it’s the two albums produced by her ex-husband Mitchell Froom, 99.9F° (Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) and Nine Objects of Desire (Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), that I like most. I admit these discs might still take a little stretching of the chillout definition, but these are some of my all-time favorites — actually, 99.9F° was the first CD I ever owned, semi-randomly picked from the store when I got my first CD player. Didn’t know I hit on something I would listen through times and times again.

The iTunes Music Store reviewer thought Froom’s extensive sound processing worked against Suzanne Vega’s intimate material. I find the results completely opposite: I think the interesting sonic soundscape decorates the music and creates a special and even mystical world her singing starts to live in. Sometimes the world is disturbingly cold, sometimes very intensive, sometimes overly laid back, but almost always slightly twisted. I like it much better than the yet-another-folk-guitar-track approach.

And for those who respect lyrics, Suzanne Vega’s style is deep in metaphors while still making her message come through scaringly clear. All in all, the music works both when you play it in the background or if you sit down and immerse yourself in her (and Froom’s) world.

And by the way, she’s very geek-friendly: she was the first major artist to perform live in Second Life…

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