Suzanne Vega

Days of Open Hand

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Suzanne Vega is a beautiful example of an artist excelling despite her limitations. While the singer-songwriter doesn't have much of a voice, she has no problem being incredibly expressive. Subtlety is the quality that defines Days of Open Hand, an album every bit as compelling as the superb Solitude Standing. Vega doesn't need to shout or preach in order to get her points across. On "Men in a War," the folk-pop-rock explorer examines the plight of disabled veterans without expressing the type of anger that Bruce Cockburn would when addressing such a subject. Restrained and understated, treasures like "Those Whole Girls (Run in Grace)," "Rusted Pipe" and "Room Off the Street" and the unsettling "Institution Green" show that for all their delicacy, Vega's songs can be quite meaty and give listeners a great deal to think about.

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