Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
- Posted on May 20th 2007 12:00PM by Steve Baltin
Suzanne Vega's first new album in six years, 'Beauty and Crime,' finds the singer-songwriter drawing inspiration from her own backyard: New York City. "The first song that came out was 'Anniversary,' and that was written the week of Sept. 11, 2002," she tells Spinner. "I had been touring and people were asking me, 'What's happening in New York ?' So I wrote 'Anniversary.' But it didn't really seem to be enough just to write one song about one moment, so my aim was to write more songs about what was happening in New York ."
To capture the Big Apple, Vega turned to some fellow musical dwellers from the city, including Patti Smith's longtime bassist Tony Shanahan and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. "Lee Ranaldo was sort of a wild guess," Vega says. "I've listened to Sonic Youth a lot over the last 25 years and I've run into Lee at all these different events all over New York. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was hoping for something distorted and raw."
KT Tunstall also makes an appearance on the album, offering up backing vocals on two songs: 'Zephyr' and 'Frank and Ava.' "I came to work with her because she knows Jimmy Hogarth, the producer," Vega says. "She had a morning off, and he asked her if she wanted to come by and do the background vocals. It worked out really great. I've been watching her career rise and I was happy to have her do it."
While NYC's influence is blatantly apparent on the new album, there's the other half of the title to address: Beauty.. "I'm a woman in my late 40s, so I think about it in regards to myself," Vega says. "I think any woman wants to be as beautiful as they can be. But you also think, 'Well, how much are you willing to suffer for it?' And I'm not particularly willing."