Suzanne Vega - Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles

Whatever made Vega spend her last four years re-recording her own back catalogue as four themed albums – like someone re-filing their CDs from alphabetical into ‘feel’ - it seems to have unblocked whatever was preventing her from releasing new material. And to celebrate, here is the folky singer-songwriter in totally new guise: Suzanne Vega, Rock Chick. Well, not quite, but in a career more noted for hushed moments it’s still a surprise to hear electric guitars played in anger. And it’s a good look. Vega dips into the Tarot for songs about spiritual growth, death, the afterlife and Vaclav Havel, while an array of session superheroes – among them Larry Campbell and Gail Ann Dorsey – fill the album with crackling electricity that even gets a little menacing on live showstopper I Never Wear White. It’s hardly Dylan goes electric, but the intent is much the same. Suzanne Vega: rock (and hats) a good new look.