Beauty & Crime
is Suzanne Vega
's first record in six years and her first for the venerable jazz imprint Blue Note Records. But don't let the label fool you: Vega still turns out wry, delicate pop songs based around an upbeat acoustic guitar and breathy, placid vocals. The smartly tailored album contains some nice flourishes throughout, though; for instance, earthy reeds fill out the bridge on "New York is a Woman," a song that considers the changing face of Vega's hometown through the eyes of an enamored tourist. This theme runs through the rest of Beauty & Crime
, a collection of songs whose deep fascination with the loss and hope that surrounds modern-day New York mirrors Vega's ability to pluck the sublime from the daily grind.