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Songs In Red And Gray

Suzanne Vega Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 12.79
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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

Songs In Red And Gray + Nine Objects Of Desire + Solitude Standing
Price For All Three: 26.37

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00005O6JG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,273 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Penitent (Album Version) 4:160.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Widow's Walk (Album Version) 3:330.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. (I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May (Album Version) 3:470.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. It Makes Me Wonder (Album Version) 4:000.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Soap And Water (Album Version) 3:030.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Songs In Red and Gray (Album Version) 4:170.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Last Years Troubles (Album Version) 3:340.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Priscilla (Album Version) 4:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. If I Were A Weapon (Album Version) 2:440.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Harbor Song (Album Version) 4:180.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Machine Ballerina (Album Version) 2:570.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Solitaire (Album Version) 2:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. St. Clare (Album Version) 2:300.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description


Suzanne Vega remains one of the most relentlessly, mercilessly tasteful recording artists alive. Every note on Songs in Red and Gray has been arranged with the meticulous precision of a butler laying silver on a table, every sound so polished and buffed that you barely notice you're listening, every syllable of every lyric only admitted to the melodies after painstaking reviewing and rewriting, and every song sung as if Vega believes that her core audience consists of elocution teachers. This has, occasionally, worked for Vega before--it should not be forgotten what an original presence she sounded around "Left of Centre" and "Marlene On The Wall"--and it works, occasionally, for Vega now. There are a few fine songs here--notably the gently acerbic "Last Year's Troubles" and the wryly subversive "Maggie May" (not the Rod Stewart standard)--but there is also a whole lot of glutinous, over-refined suet. Vega still needs to give her songs a much longer leash. Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POETRY INTO POP! 26 Sep 2001
Format:Audio CD
Suzanne Vega emerged onto the music scene in 1985 with her stunning debut album. She has since inspired the current generation of Sheryl's and Alanis's, but while they have now gone down the predictable 'Rock Chick' road Suzanne Vega remains as true as ever to her art.
Songs In Red and Gray in a truly remarkable CD which contains some incredibly beautiful and enjoyable songs. Suzanne's enviable lyric writing talent again come to the fore, with lines that would not be out of place in a collection of poetry.
Songs such as 'Widow's Walk' and 'Soap and Water' deal with the aftermath of a failed marriage, in a highly orignal and deeply moving way - with lines such as 'heal the cut we call husband and wife' avoiding all of the usual cliches.
'If I Were A Weapon' and 'Last Year's Troubles' demonstrate her ability to make gutsy and meaningful pop music, with catchy choruses paired with some killer lyrics. Critics often over-look the toughness in Suzanne's work and here she again proves that she is no wimp!
A favourite track off the album is 'I'll Never Be Your Maggie May'which could be seen as a reply to the Rod Stewart song. With an instantly memorable melody and lovely production, this song will stay in your head for days!
So I would recommend this CD to anyone who craves intelligent pop music. It has great lyrics, catchy tunes and proves that Suzanne Vega remains one of the most original song-writers around.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New-York Doll 4 May 2004
By Is
Format:Audio CD
I have loved Suzanne Vega ever since I was a kid and saw a video for "Luka" on TV. There was something about this porcelain-skinned girl with her pensive eyes and understated voice that caught my attention, even though I was just twelve years old and couldn't speak a word of English. So "Solitude Standing" became the first LP I ever owned, and since then her music has followed me throughout the years.
Her new album, "Songs in Red and Gray" somehow marks a return to the music that first got me listening to her - not that she ever really departed from the folk-tinged but still distinctly urban singer-songwriter material. And hey, this is Suzanne Vega we're talking about, so of course the lyrics play a big part. They deal mostly with the break-up of her marriage - apparently, she stayed at home for a year and just wrote, finally surfacing in the small Green Village clubs where she started out once upon a time, and tried the songs out on her old mates. "If I Were A Weapon" is a great example of stringent song-writing, where she demonstrates how to use a metaphor without coming over all Dido-esque (sorry, Dido is my pet peeve) and who else could devote a whole song to playing solitaire on the computer?
The thing I like so much about Suzanne is that she can get results with small means - she never sounds overblown or melodramatic, and still her songs possess great emotion. It's her warm voice coupled with a cool detached eye that does it: just listen to the quietly perceptive "Last Years' Troubles" or the evocative "Widow's Walk" and you'll see what I mean.
One tip to her fans: do catch her live if you have the chance. I am always a bit wary of concerts, since I'm afraid of being disappointed. (Rickie Lee Jones, for instance, is wonderful on vinyl but the sourest pill EVER on stage.) But Suzanne has a great warmth and generosity about her that translates even into an audience of 200+.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This album opens with Penitent,a beautiful and winsome song.This is a good indicator of the tone and mood of this collection of simple and introspective songs.There are wry and insightful lyrics about the small everyday things of life.
I havent always liked Suzanne Vega although I bought her original album which was amazing but I would heartily recommend this to both old fans and new as it is an album to listen to over and over again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album yet again 30 Dec 2002
Format:Audio CD
Since her eponymous debut album in 1985 Suzanne Vega has developed her unique talent with a succession of excellent albums.
'Songs in Red and Gray' is Suzanne's first album since 'Nine Objects of Desire' in 1996 and represents something of a return to her roots and her strengths. Gone is the playful experimentation of Nine Objects, replaced with a more restrained and subtle production from Rupert Hine and a new sense of emotion from Suzanne's vocal performance.
The theme and tone of this album was effectively set by the unfortunate break up of Suzanne's marriage. It is a tribute to her talent and resilience that she has been able to create such superb music from such personal heartache.
Typically, Suzanne eschews playing the blame game over her personal problems and instead deconstructs her feelings and lays them bare in her songs. The quality of the lyrics is outstanding throughout and the songs 'Penitent' and '(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May' are the equal of anything she has ever created before.
If you are already a fan then there is no doubt that you will enjoy this album. If you particularly enjoy Suzanne's acoustic guitar-driven songs with astute lyrical observations then it is pure heaven!
Thank you Suzanne for over 15 years of listening pleasure!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Oct 2005
By pseudopanax VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Never has a failed relationship been dissected and analysed at such a level and in such a brilliant fashion as on this masterpiece by Vega. Quietly, yet cuttingly, she strips away the easy answers and trite arguments that hide the pain and anxiety of loss and in their place formulates a fiercely petulant, but sympathetic response to the damage done to the ego and those around her. It is Vega stripped bare. It can be wincingly painful to listen to at times, but also sharply funny as in "I'll Never be Your Maggie May." Unfortunately overlooked since its release, this work is a triumph of songwriting and performance.
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