This was an extraordinary debut album which is as crisp and fresh today as when I first heard it in 1985. This album is a collection of glimpses of stories — some almost narrated, some barely hinted at. But all tantalisingly brief.
Marlene on the Wall is the song that brought this album to the UK public's attention, but the song that riveted me was 'The Queen and the Soldier' on what was then Side 2. It's a haunting almost fairy tale which ends — well, buy the album and find out how it ends. From there I had to go back to Some Journey, which is like a brief scene from a Russian novel, or maybe a half chapter of Michael Strogoff.
Suzanne Vega had already mastered the art of shifting perspective in this album. Knight Moves takes us very close in, right to the moment, while Small Blue Thing is like seeing the song from a great height.
The guitar work is masterful, and eminently playable for those willing to take the trouble to learn it.
Someone once suggested to me that Suzanne Vega's first album was her best, the second her second best, the third her third best, and so on. I don't agree with him, because I think that she develops in different musical directions. But I can see what he meant - in terms of what it is, this album is perfect. Vega was wise not to try to do the same thing again with her second.