This was Suzanne Vega's second album produced by Mitchell Froom. There is a great variation in moods and styles and Froom obviously has a great skill of giving Vega's songs inventive arrangements without ruining them with over-production.
This album is a natural follow-up the very experimental album "99.9 F" which had a lot of odd sounds and rhythms. You find quite a lot of the same things here, but the overall impression is that of a softer and more refined album.
What make Suzanne Vega's albums so good is the songs and her soft voice; what makes her albums great is the perfectionism in which the songs are arranged and produced. Both elements are present on this album, which may very well turn out to be her most satisfying and enduring.
A handful of these songs would have fitted nicely into "99.9 F"; "Birthday", "Stockings", "Casual Match", "No Cheap Thrill" and "Lolita" . Among them my favourites are "Stockings", with great sensual lyrics, "No Cheap Thrill" and the almost heavy "Birthday".
On other tracks a more refined touch is apparent. "Caramel" is a latin-inspired great tune with a tasteful hornarrangement. "My favourite Plum" is another memorable song with a beautiful string arrangement. "World Before Columbus" are "Honeymoon Suite" two acoustic songs with Vega playing the guitar. I particularly like the thought-provoking lyrics of "Honeymoon Suite".
"Headshots" is another favourite.
Least appealing are the jazzy track "Tombstone" and the riff-based "Casual Match" and "Lolita"