Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Suzanne Vega: Solitude Standing [A&M, 1987]
I bet "Luka" is a grand fluke like "You're So Vain" rather than a dawning of the light like "Mrs. Robinson." Better her closely observed recent songs than a tale of brave Ulysses or a lover with "hands of raining water" (wet yes, hot no). But close observation is still Creative Writing, and if Vega eventually graduates to, say, the flat command of Ann Beattie, she'll still be precisely nowhere. Real pop lyrics ignore such strictly literary alternatives altogether. C+