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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine live album, 24 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Solitude Standing: Live at the Barbican 2012 (Audio CD)
This is a very fine live album, recorded at The Barbican in London in October 2012 to mark 25 years since the release of Solitude Standing. Suzanne Vega sings every song from that classic in the order they appeared on the album, plus several others (including a fine version of Marlene On The Wall). It's a great set, which she and the band do really well.

Suzanne Vega's voice has matured and become slightly deeper and more husky over a quarter of a century and if anything I prefer it now. It gives her often melancholy and atmospheric songs extra depth, and after all her experience of performing she can really put the songs over fantastically. Every track, even the ones that aren't true classics, has real meaning here and even the incredibly familiar, like Gypsy for example, are still genuinely affecting and she is absolutely spellbinding in Tom's Diner. It's a proper live album, without a lot of auto-tune or other airbrushing and Vega doesn't quite hit the occasional note bang in the middle (quite noticeable in Luka and Marlene On The Wall) but I really like that - it's a real performance and this only adds to its genuineness, I think.

The band are excellent and the sound is sort of half-way between the original rich, 80s production and the recent magnificent, stripped down Close-Up albums. There are some amusing and warm anecdotes between songs and appreciative audience reaction, giving the atmosphere of a live concert very well.

I have loved Suzanne Vega's music for many, many years, and genuinely think she is one of the great, original singer-songwriters of the last 30 years. This is a great record of her in concert. I should love to have been there, but this is the next best thing. Very warmly recommended.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jan 2014 19:26:07 GMT
Mark Dyde says:
Good review and I agree with most of the comments however I'd like to point out there was no "auto-tune or other airbrushing" since album was recorded, burnt and, in limited numbers, sold on the way out of the show. The lucky 200 or so got to take home the concert they had just seen and the rest of the, sold out, audience had the chance to buy copies at a later date.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 19:32:29 GMT
Sid Nuncius says:
Does that mean you were there? I'm not at all envious. No, really - not in the slightest. That's definitely not a tinge of green in my face. Honest. :o)

Seriously, I should have *loved* to be there, and I didn't mean the "airbrush" remark as any sort of criticism. I think it's great that we get the music as it was performed because it has genuine depth and character, and I admire Suzanne Vega and her band for having the courage to do it.

Thanks for posting.
Sid

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 19:42:25 GMT
Mark Dyde says:
Sorry to hear you missed it and yes, I was there and it was one of the best shows I'd heard of hers in the last 12 years. No criticism taken, I think it's refreshing to hear real music performed well, warts and all, far too rare these days.
With that in mind, she'll be back at the Barbican on the 7th Feb to promote her new album, "Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles" which will be out by then.I hear its very good too.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 19:48:33 GMT
Sid Nuncius says:
Thanks very much for the tip, Mark. I'll look into it.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 19:49:38 GMT
Mark Dyde says:
Cool, might see you there then.

Posted on 4 Feb 2014 15:11:39 GMT
Cloudberry says:
Thanks to Sid and Mark for an intelligent exchange of comments. I wasn't at the concert at the Barbican and don't have this album (God, to be there and pick up a copy of what I had just witnessed would have been wonderful). I will be buying it on the strength of the comments here. Just to say that "Pentacles" is, imho, a beauty - at 36 minutes, quite short, but quality is usually better than quantity and it reminds me of earlier material. However, it is difficult to beat "Solitude Standing" and, in fact, "Days Of Open Hand".

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2014 17:33:26 GMT
Sid Nuncius says:
Hi, Big G.
Yes - I agree about Pentacles, and the more I hear it, the better I think it is.
Thanks for the kind remarks!
Sid

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 02:48:36 GMT
Mark Dyde says:
You're very welcome.
As for the new album, initial favourite track was "Song Of The Stoic" but the live version of "Jacob And The Angel" is the best of the new songs, the way that Gerry Leonard "builds" the track has to be seen (though some reviewers have wrongly suggested that parts are pre-recorded, I guarantee there is NO backing tracks used at any time).
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