Beauty & Crime

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Beauty & Crime
Suzanne Vega B&C Cover.jpg
Studio album by Suzanne Vega
Released July 17, 2007 (2007-07-17)
Recorded November 2006 – January 2007
Studio Great City Productions and Sear Sound Studios, New York City; Jimmy's Studio and Olympic Studios, London, England
Genre Folk rock, pop
Length 33:58
Label Blue Note
Producer Jimmy Hogarth
Suzanne Vega chronology
Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega
(2003)
Beauty & Crime
(2007)
Close-Up Vol. 1, Love Songs
(2010)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic(84/100) [1]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
BBC Music(positive) [3]
Billboard(positive) [4]
The Boston Globe(positive) [5]
Entertainment WeeklyA- [6]
musicOMH4/5 stars [7]
New York Magazine(positive) [11]
The New York Times(positive) [10]
PopMatters7/10 stars [8]
StylusB [9]
Under the Radar7/10 stars [1]
USA Today3/4 stars [12]

Beauty & Crime is the seventh studio album by singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega. It is her first album of new material since 2001's Songs in Red and Gray and her first for Blue Note Records. It was released on July 17, 2007. Beauty & Crime won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, on February 11, 2008.

Development[edit]

After lukewarm commercial success for her last two albums, Nine Objects of Desire (1996) and Songs in Red and Gray (2001) A&M Records ended their contract with Vega[citation needed] with the release of the more commercially successful hits package Retrospective in 2003.

Vega embarked on an extensive tour and performed songs from Beauty & Crime in their early forms, including "Unbound," "Edith Wharton's Figurines," and "New York is a Woman".

The album was recorded in New York City from November 10–November 27, 2006, with additional recording in England in January 2007.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Suzanne Vega.

  1. "Zephyr & I" - 3:10
  2. "Ludlow Street" - 3:16
  3. "New York is a Woman" - 2:54
  4. "Pornographer's Dream" - 3:23
  5. "Frank & Ava" - 2:38
  6. "Edith Wharton's Figurines" - 2:23
  7. "Bound" - 4:43
  8. "Unbound" - 3:34
  9. "As You Are Now" - 2:20
  10. "Angel's Doorway" - 2:55
  11. "Anniversary" - 2:57
  12. "Obvious Question" (Bonus Track) - 1:50

Personnel[edit]

  • Suzanne Vega – acoustic guitar, vocals (all tracks)
  • Gerry Leonard – electric guitar (1, 2, 5 to 11), acoustic guitar (4, 5, 10)
  • Lee Ranaldo – electric guitar (1, 2, 10)
  • Martin Slattery – piano (3, 4, 7, 10), flute (9), brass (3), reeds (3)
  • Samuel Dixon – bass (2, 3, 6, 11) live bass (8)
  • Tony Shanahan – bass (1, 5, 9, 10)
  • Mike Visceglia – bass (4)
  • Graham Hawthorne – drums (1, 3, 5, 6, 9 to 11), live drums (2, 7, 8)
  • Jimmy Hogarth – percussion (1 to 5, 10, 11) electric guitar (1), acoustic guitar (11)
  • Doug Yowell – drums (4, 6), percussion (4, 6)
  • KT Tunstall – background vocals, vocal arrangements (1, 5)
  • Ruby Froom – background vocals (2, 8)
  • Beccy Byrne – background vocals (8)
  • Emily Singer – background vocals (8)
  • Anthony Genn – background vocals (11)
  • Philip Sheppard – cello (1, 6, 7)
  • Matthew Ward – violin (1, 7)
  • London Studio Orchestra – strings (2, 4, 7, 9) led by Perry Montague–Mason
  • Pete Davis – programming (2, 4, 7, 8, 10)

Production

  • Jimmy Hogarth – producer
  • Cameron Craig – engineer
  • Emery Dobyns – engineer

Notes[edit]

Vega wrote following comments on the album's songs:

  • "Zephyr & I": a conversation between the graffiti artist Zephyr and myself, West End Avenue remembered
  • "Ludlow Street": for my brother Tim who lived there, memories of parties and rehab
  • "New York is a Woman": New York personified as a woman who has had a hard time but is still beautiful
  • "Pornographer's Dream": what would he really desire?
  • "Frank & Ava": a couple who gets along in bed but not out
  • "Edith Wharton's Figurines": women past and present, how we suffer for beauty
  • "Bound": a love song to my husband
  • "Unbound": a spiritual song about a plant
  • "As You Are Now": to my daughter, who is a natural treasure
  • "Angel's Doorway": A cop is stationed at Ground Zero and his wife wants him to leave his clothes at the door. Also about troops returning home.
  • "Anniversary": The anniversary week of 9/11 a year later in New York City
  • "Obvious Question": about alcohol and the damage done (this track is only available on the Japanese import CD)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[13] 302
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[14] 31
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[15] 69
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[16] 13
Czech Albums[citation needed] 37
Estonian Albums[citation needed] 9
French Albums (SNEP)[17] 52
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[18] 81
Italian Albums[citation needed] 74
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[19] 49
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 79
UK Albums[21] 127
US Billboard 200[22] 129
US Top Internet Albums[citation needed] 24
US Billboard Comprehensive Albums[citation needed] 140

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Worldwide (IFPI) N/A 100,000[23]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Beauty & Crime by Suzanne Vega". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Nelson, Tim. "BBC - Music - Review of Suzanne Vega - Beauty And Crime". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Billboard review". Archived from the original on 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Viva la Vega". 24 July 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2016 – via The Boston Globe. 
  6. ^ "Beauty & Crime - EW.com". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Suzanne Vega - Beauty And Crime - Albums - musicOMH". 10 June 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  8. ^ PopMatters review
  9. ^ "Beauty & Crime". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "New CDs". The New York Times. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Lady of the Canyons". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Reviewed by Elysa Gardner, USA Today: Suzanne Vega, Beauty & Crime: * * * (out of four) Epistle to city. The veteran troubadour's latest is a predictably smart, vaguely haunted love letter to her lifelong home, New York City. From tautly driving tunes such as "Zephyr" and the single "Frank & Ava" to moodier, more bittersweet fare, Vega evokes the grit and grace of her stomping grounds. And the crisp economy of her singing and writing have never been more welcome.
  13. ^ "Response from ARIA re: ARIA chart history for Suzanne Vega, received October 31, 2017". Imgur.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017.  N.B. The High Point number in the NAT column represents the release's peak on the national chart. This history only contains data from the commencement of the ARIA-produced chart in mid-1988.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Suzanne Vega – Beauty & Crime" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Suzanne Vega – Beauty & Crime" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  16. ^ "Suzanne Vega: Beauty & Crime" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  17. ^ "Lescharts.com – Suzanne Vega – Beauty & Crime". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  18. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  20. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Suzanne Vega – Beauty & Crime". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  21. ^ Beauty & Crime UK albums chart peak: "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 > V – Vybe". Dipl.-Bibl.(FH) Tobias Zywietz. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Suzanne Vega Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  23. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/suzanne-vega-on-her-return-lou-reeds-puppy-and-loving-macklemore-20140116

External links[edit]