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Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles [VINYL]

Suzanne Vega Vinyl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: 21.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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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Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles [VINYL] + Solitude Standing
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Product details

  • Vinyl (3 Feb 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,434 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Crack In The Wall
2. Fool's Complaint
3. I Never Wear White
4. Portrait of the Knight of Wands
5. Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain
6. Jacob and the Angel
7. Silver Bridge
8. Song Of the Stoic
9. Laying on of Hands / Stoic 2
10. Horizon (There Is A Road)

Product Description

Product Description

Vegas first new studio album in seven years, features ten new songs each telling a story that has to do with the material world and the world of the spirit and how they intersect. Suzanne spent the past few years writing and recording these new gems on the road, recording portions in Chicago, London, Prague, LA and New York City, and Kyserike Station, an old train station in upstate New York. Tracking for the album took place mostly at the Clubhouse Studios in Rhinebeck, and the album was mixed by Kevin Killen, who has worked with Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. "A lot of my older albums, especially the second one, were about being solitary. This album has more of a sense of connectivity, there is a different spirit". Queen of Pentacles taps into Vegas broad range of musical tastes, intertwining Dylan/Stones inspired guitar-driven songs with lush orchestral strings and trumpet, soul-packed background vocals and Vegas masterful classic folk elements. A fan of hip hop as well, Vega samples the 50 Cent hit song Candy Shop for one of the more unique tracks on the album, Dont Uncork What You Cant Contain. This is Suzannes first sampling effort " although her song Toms Diner has been interpolated countless times in the hip-hop community, she has not sampled anyone else until this album.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't deliver for me 15 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this album as I already own a number of Suzanne Vega albums which, to me, are full of intrigue and atmosphere. Even allowing for the evolution of an artist I haven't heard much about for a while I was left uninspired but this album. This CD is listenable but certainly not in the league of earlier works such as Solitude Standing and 99.9F. What is lacking to me in this album is atmosphere and depth, despite an enigmatic title, the tracks all sound rather bland and unmemorable. It might just be me or that the bar was set exceptionally high by Suzanne's previous albums but this album didn't deliver for me, although, I am open to the fact the fault might be mine!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slight sense of anti-climax 4 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having known Suzanne Vega's music since the 1980's, I was a great fan of the early albums, the original untitled one and then "Solitude Standing". After buying a few more albums in the early 90's I had stopped thinking too much about Suzanne Vega's music. A bit of research convinced me that this album represented a return to form.

By most standards this album would be quite a reasonable listen. There are two or three striking tracks, but the overall impression is "Heard something similar before from Suzanne Vega". It is not that this is a bad album. It is just that it does not measure up to the quality and innovation of the early work. Sometimes it would be better to preserve fond memories, and move on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half a pleasant surprise 3 Mar 2014
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Since the gorgeous 'Beauty and Crime' she had mostly been recycling her back catalogue, and it's great to be able to hear new material from one of the most gifted female singer-songwriters alive. While 'I Never Wear White' or 'Jacob and the Angel' sound really fresh and exciting, other tracks are too similar to older songs of Suzanne's, only not as good, hence a tiny bit of disappointment (like in the days of 'Songs in Red and Grey' when she seemed to play it safe).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant return 3 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD
This is a really great CD and will appeal to both fans of Suzanne's older work and also those who are into artists who are part of the recent new-folk movement.

As always with Suzanne, the lyrics are really fascinating and highly original. The melodies are also great with guitarist and producer Gerry Leonard giving a tougher texture to the sound.

Current favourites include Don't Cork What You Can't Contain, Fool's Complaint and I Never Wear White. Horizon also features a beautiful trumpet solo from Alison Balsom.

There is also the really moving Song Of The Stoic, which from what I understand, is a continuation of the character Luka, following him into adult life. It really took my breath away when I first heard that one.

A really memorable CD and will be enjoyed by anyone who likes her other work. Nearly 30yrs since her debut, I'd argue she is a really important artist who deserves serious acclaim both for her words and music.
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Format:Audio CD
I've been playing this album pretty continuously for a while now. Suzanne Vega's songs are complex, sophisticated pieces; it always takes a good while to get to know them properly so this review may still be slightly premature, but I think I can say confidently that I think this is a very good album. It's classic Vega in many ways: intelligent, allusive lyrics which often tell a story, set to often distinctively quirky tunes and beautifully sung in that haunting, slightly husky voice.

I find the album's title slightly off-putting and wasn't sure what to expect as a result, but in fact the Queen Of Pentacles features in the excellent Fool's Complaint as an archetype of a selfish, self-regarding and self-obsessed modern woman. It's a great, rocking, tuneful track. Others are also upbeat and rhythmically powerful but there's a good variety of moods here: Portrait Of The Knight Of Wands is much more atmospheric and haunting, for example.

Production is generally fairly full but beautifully judged, allowing each song to shine. (I'd be very interested to hear these given the Close Up treatment, by the way - I think they'd probably stand up very well.) It's often not easy to say what a Suzanne Vega song is "about" and that's true here, too, but they are rich in language and allusion and are challenging and thought-provoking in that typically Vega way. I found her re-telling of Jacob And The Angel quite remarkable, and it moves me and makes me think as much as the Epstein statue does - which is really saying something.

This is a fine collection of songs, every one of which stands on its merits; I don't think there's a genuinely weak track on the album, although personally I'm less keen on the opener, Crack In The Wall.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of singer-songwriters returns 3 Feb 2014
By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
The intriguingly titled Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles is Suzanne Vega's eighth studio album and her first collection of original material since 2007's Beauty and Crime.

Having parted company with her long-time label A&M after 2001's Songs in Red and Gray, she then signed with Blue Note who released her next album, Beauty and Crime. Although it garnered good reviews and sold over 100,000 copies she was later dropped by them, so Vega, like many other artists before her, decided the best way to secure her musical future was to form her own record label.

Her first releases on this label were four albums called Close Up, issued between 2010 and 2012. They contained re-recorded versions of a large part of her back catalogue (partly done, as she admits, to make some money from her songs which were originally recorded, and now owned by, the major labels).

Although it's been a long time coming, Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles, is classic Vega - full of her trademark lyrics and haunting vocals. But although there's plenty of typically introspective songs, there's also the odd echo of the harder edge from one of her earlier albums, present on the lead single from Germany and France - "I Never Wear White". It has a harsh guitar sound harking back to the style of some of her 1992 album 99.9 F.

"Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain" - the lead single in the US - sees her first attempt at sampling (although DNA had great success by sampling her on "Tom's Diner") with a snippet taken from 50 Cent's "Candy Shop". Although the sampling has been somewhat newsworthy, it's still very much a Suzanne Vega song, the sample just adds a slightly different flavour to the soundscape.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, even better than I expected from the reviews.
Published 1 day ago by H S D Grimsditch
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just revisiting
I bought my first Suzanne Vega in vinyl and never went further. Not that I didn't love her wonderful, poetic songs, I just got on with other things. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Emmabemma
5.0 out of 5 stars Suze does it again
Brilliant as always!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by Mr. A. R. Luckock
5.0 out of 5 stars ... get my hands on a copy It is a great listen and the song "don't...
After seeing Suzanne Vega perform some of the songs from this album at Glastonbury I could not wait to get my hands on a copy It is a great listen and the song "don't uncork... Read more
Published 1 month ago by katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
nice job!
Published 1 month ago by michael campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Complaint
I am prepared to be complimentary but if you want me to express my opinion you should not try and tell me how to do it. I do not have the time to waste.
Published 2 months ago by Foxhill
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Album, well worth a listen. Hear SV live!
I know this album has some less than great reviews but really, for anyone who likes SV this will sound familiar and fine. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C E R Locke
3.0 out of 5 stars not as expected!
Being a big Suzanne Vega fan from her " Luca" days and seeing her live twice, i was expecting big things but was a little dissapointed with this cd-maybe i thought it would... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Lynne Bramley
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
give this a go folky vega at her best I bought this as a present having never heard it now its all over the radio, beautiful lyrics and wonderful pure vocals
Published 3 months ago by jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far.
As a fan what can I say.
The best albumn so far. The music has more base, the lyrics darker. The albumn rockier.
Delivered fast and well packed.
Published 4 months ago by lionheart
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