Songs in Red and Gray

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Songs in Red and Gray
Suzanne Vega - Songs in Red and Gray.jpg
Studio album by Suzanne Vega
Released September 25, 2001
Recorded November 2000 – May 2001 at Looking Glass Studio
Genre Folk rock, pop rock
Length 45:31
Label A&M
Producer Rupert Hine
Suzanne Vega chronology
Tried & True: The Best of Suzanne Vega
(1998)
Songs in Red and Gray
(2001)
Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega
(2003)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (81/100) [1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars [2]
The A.V. Club (favorable) [3]
Blender 3/5 stars [1]
E! Online B+ [1]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [4]
Mojo 4.5/5 stars [1]
Q 3/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (dud) [5]
Rolling Stone (favorable) [6]

Songs in Red and Gray is the sixth studio album release by New York-based singer/songwriter and musician Suzanne Vega. The album was Vega's final album for A&M Records (with whom she had been since 1983) and also marks the divorce from her husband and producer Mitchell Froom.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The album shows a return to Vega's early musical form of acoustic folk-pop, shedding the stylistic experimentalism she had developed with producer and husband Mitchell Froom in the 1990s.[2] New producer Rupert Hine shows some traces of his past work with '80s new wave bands by employing electronic beats,[3] but mostly allows Vega's voice and guitar to dominate the tracks in a manner reminiscent of her debut album and its 1987 follow-up, Solitude Standing.[2][3]

Lyrically, most of the songs, like "Widow's Walk" and "(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May", deal with the unhappy dissolution of her romance with Froom.[2][3][7] Vega's "calm, hushed, clear singing"[2] belies the album's "mood of heartbroken defiance".[3] Its lyrical content represents "the most personally revealing songs she has written" in her career.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Suzanne Vega; except where indicated:

  1. "Penitent" – 4:16
  2. "Widow's Walk" – 3:33
  3. "(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May" – 3:47
  4. "It Makes Me Wonder" – 4:00
  5. "Soap and Water" – 3:03
  6. "Songs in Red and Gray" – 4:18
  7. "Last Year's Troubles" – 3:35
  8. "Priscilla" – 4:14
  9. "If I Were a Weapon" – 2:45
  10. "Harbor Song" – 4:18
  11. "Machine Ballerina" – 2:57
  12. "Solitaire" – 2:10
  13. "St. Clare" – 2:30 (Jack Hardy)
  14. "Golden" – 3:53 (available in the Japanese release only)

Personnel[edit]

  • Suzanne Vega – lead vocal, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals, distorted acoustic guitar
  • Rupert Hine – drum programming, bass, piano, strings, keyboards, percussion, woodwinds, orchestral percussion
  • Nick Hugh – drum programming, synth lead
  • Gerry Leonard – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, mandolins, zither, dulcimer
  • Elizabeth Taubman – harmony vocals
  • Matt Johnson – drums
  • Mike Visceglia – bass
  • Jay Bellerose – drums
  • Doug Yowell – drums, percussion
  • Pamela Sue Man – backing vocals, harmony vocals

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
French Albums (SNEP)[8] 36
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[9] 53
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[10] 34
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[11] 31
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 47
UK Albums (Official Charts Company)[13] 100
US Billboard 200[14] 178

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Songs In Red And Gray by Suzanne Vega". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Songs in Red and Gray at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b c d e Phipps, Keith (25 September 2001). "Suzanne Vega: Songs In Red And Gray". Avclub.com. The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly review at the Wayback Machine (archived August 21, 2008)
  5. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: suzanne vega". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived August 10, 2007)
  7. ^ a b Katz, Larry (September 23, 2001). "Revelations – Suzanne Vega's personal turmoil fuels intimate 'Red and Gray'". The Boston Herald. Boston, MA. Retrieved June 28, 2016.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Lescharts.com – Suzanne Vega – Songs in Red and Gray". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Suzanne Vega – Songs in Red and Gray". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Suzanne Vega – Songs in Red and Gray". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  12. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Suzanne Vega – Songs in Red and Gray". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "Official Charts > Suzanne Vega (albums tab)". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Suzanne Vega – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Suzanne Vega. Retrieved June 8, 2014.

External links[edit]