A dissonance between sound and subject matter isn't a new Vega trait - if you ignored the lyrics to Luka, her huge 1987 hit, you'd assume it was a song about crayons rather than child abuse - but on this, her first record in seven years, the discord is a new kind of awkward. Her voice, effortless and earnest as ever, seems out of step when she's sampling 50 Cent's Candy Shop, referencing Macklemore and his thrift shop, or insisting that "my colour is black, black, black". Most curious is Portrait of the Knight of Wands ("His mission: the transmission of technology") – a eulogy for Steve Jobs in ballad form?
Suzanne Vega: Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles – review
Hermione writes for the Observer New Review section on books, music, theatre and feminism.