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4.1 out of 5 stars15
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 25 June 2002
Suzanne Vega's first album told us she could write pretty folk songs, with a cool, distant twist. "Solitude Standing" brought that detached, "I-Am-A-Camera" talent into a sharper focus. "Days Of Open Hand" is the album where she strays deeper into darker, more mysterious territory.
There is a very clear, cool, detached tone here - and the low-key melodies and dry, almost dusty production lend an almost ghostly, almost psychotic feel - especially on the chilling song, "Institution Green".
This album seems the musical equivalent of reading Sylvia Plath's short stories in "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" - it may not be her most accomplished work, but it has an unnerving quality none the less.
Disquieting, subtle and unsettling - and frequently, quite brilliant.
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on 24 November 2003
This is probably the most under-rated of Suzanne Vegas's work, but is an album that repays careful attention. Like many artists, it is best to listen to her music in chronological order, taking the time to appreciate what she is doing. There may be side alleys that she explores, or different directions that she takes, but they are never boring. Put the "Best of" albums aside, and take the time to appreciate her fine music album by album.
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on 3 March 2012
This is an album where there are a lot of differences in opinion among the fans whether it's good or not. Personally I love the dark, creepy and disturbed undertone, but I can also see why it is not everyone's cup of tea. I would recommend getting it and giving it a few hearings. It shouldn't take long to make up your own mind whether you love it or not.
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on 26 September 2013
Such deceptively layered songwriting. Precise sounds on this record. Roomy music. Yet intimate.

I am not the most eighties kind of fan but this record I often find myself fascinated by.

Recommended.
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on 12 September 2006
This album works as a collection of 11 tracks. It's one of the few I've heard with no weak songs.

Her best album by far in my opinion.
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on 29 June 2013
This album perfectly illustrates how synthesizers create a background against which distinctive features of music all but disappear. I hope this was an aberration of the times. I believe even Bob Dylan fell under the fear of musical space represented by these machines in the 80s. Let's hope Day's Of Open Hand was just an echo of this and the other 'musical' comb-overs of that time.
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on 14 July 2003
This is a sadly underrated album, mainly because of the "Book of Dreams" single, which sounds as if it is attempting to be popular amidst all the darker strains, and getting lost in the process. It is, as a result, the poorest track there.
The truth is that there are a lot of Suzanne's best qualities here, from the poignant 'Tired of Sleeping', to the atmospheric 'Room off the Street' (a personal favourite of mine). It can be harder work than other albums, and is probably not for the first time listener (start at the beginning!), but it is worth the effort.
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on 12 December 2010
What can I say about this underrated album by Suzanne Vega (SV). There are 3 songs that I would say were classics on this album - Tired of sleeping/Men in a war/Book of dreams and several others that are close to being classics but require a little more listening. Songs like the intriguing Rusted pipe, the complex Institution green or Predictions. This is a purists album and rather than complexity that leads to beautifully simple acoustic guitar based songs, Suzanne lets her musical imagination wander and deliver elaborate intricate songs. This is my type of album; I like the strong originality that runs through the whole work, the charming lyrics that add so much to all her music, the synthesizers as well as the acoustic guitar that always is part of any SV album. The ever-present acoustic guitar is sometimes more of accompaniment than forming the backbone of songs. The electric guitar reminds me of the sounds The Police used on some of their albums. The sound quality of this album is very fine, as a demonstration of a media player or hi-fi the combination of pleasant sounds and 1990's recording technology will show the electronics in their best light. Perhaps to make the album even more pure she could have added some distorted drums or a grey sounding synth. There is a dark element to this album although compared to some its not that dark, but dark compared with her debut album or 99.9Fdeg. The violence of Men in a war as well as songs like the sinister Those whole girls and especially Fifty-fifty chance show a side away from light carefree acoustic songs. This darkness is in songs like Luka/The queen and the soldier/Small blue thing and is part of what SV music is. If you have other SV albums but not this one I would say you are missing quite a lot of what this artist has to offer. It does require a little effort if you want to listen to more than 5 of 11 tracks, but there is a reward for this. A class album that is essential for any enthusiast of SV.

..as she lay on the bed
..she was sure she was hit
..she was new and staring
..at shapes in her head
(Men in a war - Suzanne Vega)
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on 6 March 2014
I found an old cassette of this at home and realised I'd forgotten how good it was! Needed CD for car...excellent service from supplier.
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on 1 August 2013
I used to own a vinyl copy of this album, but someone stole it. Nice to have a copy back in my collection.
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