ALBUM                                 :           LOVER BELOVED: AN EVENING

                                                           WITH CARSON MCCULLERS

ARTIST                                  :           Suzanne Vega

GENRE                                   :           Alternative / Indie

DATE RELEASED                 :           2016

Tribute albums are tricky; not all singers or bands can pull a successful one.  This is probably due to the fact that original versions tend to sink into deeper consciousness thus very often those who cover other artist’s songs tends to suffer in comparison. But, how do you make a tribute album to a writer especially one whose novels are eccentric and moody?  Suzanne Vega just provided the answer.  Was she successful?  Here is a track by track review of the album.

  • Carson’s Blues – probably her own way of describing and introducing Carson McCullers to current generation or as a way of her desire to understand the writer. Perhaps, it was the softness of her voice that made this track very interesting; she’s just like narrating a bedtime story instead of singing.

Listen to “Carson’s Blues” in here

  • New York Is My Destination – if Frank Sinatra’s song about New York celebrates success, Suzanne’s song details what it’s like to chase success in New York.
  • Instant of The Hour After – it was a stroke of genius for Ms. Vega to use only the piano as background to a song that describe the monkeys on the marriage bed. It is like she is treating the marital bed as a horror movie accessory.

Listen to “Instant of The Hour After”

  • We of Me – there is a strange irony in this song. While she is celebrating relationship, her voice seems to indicate a certain mood of regret.

Watch official video of “We Of Me” in here

  • AnneMarie – this song discuss the Swiss Journalist and photographer whom Ms. Carson met. AnneMarie dressed up as boy since she was young.  She led a complicated life especially when it comes to relationships.
  • 12 Mortal Men – is all about the last book of Ms. Carson’s novella “The Ballad of Sad Café.”
  • Harper Lee – if Madonna enumerated Hollywood Legends in Vogue and Billy Joel enumerated important historical events, Harper Lee is a list on literati that would encourage young readers to be curious.

Listen to “Harper Lee” in here

  • Lover Beloved – is perhaps about unrequited and excessive love and to her credit, Ms. Vega did not make the song a screaming one but choose to make the mood of this song be like the loneliness of one sided love.

Listen to “Lover Beloved” in here

  • The Ballad of Miss Amelia – is a retelling of “The Ballad of Sad Café.
  • Carson’s Last Supper – this track is as lonely as McCuller’s novels.

Ms. Vega almost covered everything about the life of the writer of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER.  In fact, the album is like a biography of the writer.  Musically, it was a good strategy on Ms. Vega to make the album quiet instead of doing it ala Broadway.

I rate this record 4 stars out of 5 stars as Ms. Vega just crafted songs that are in the league with those that are included in her SOLITUDE STANDING album.  Definitely, Album of the Year material.


1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it



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