solitude-standing
  • RELEASE DATE /February 6, 1989
  • LABEL /A&M Records

Tracklist

Few words

Suzanne Vega emerged in the mid-’80s, and while her intimate voice and acoustic guitar brought to mind Joni Mitchell, her urbane lyrics suggested a sensibility that was as much reportorial as confessional. Vega’s second album, which replaced the delicate acoustic textures of her self-titled debut with more dramatic arrangements, includes Vega’s career song, “Luka,” surely one of the biggest hits ever written about child abuse. But it was the energetic folk-rock production of “Luka,” thick with ringing guitars and pushed by perky drums, that let the listener luxuriate in a song that suggested the darkness that can lurk behind a neighbor’s door. The title tune confronts personal loneliness with a similarly powerful performance, while “Ironbound/Fancy Poultry” makes a downtown landscape sound downright homey. Well-turned tunes like “Calypso” and “Gypsy” recall the softer textures of her debut. Ironically, Vega’s next big hit would come when the English production duo DNA made a dance hit out of “Tom’s Diner,” a nursery-rhyme tribute to a coffee shop that opens the album. –John Milward