It occurred to me yesterday that I forgot a singular contribution to my Top Five LILA CANTE songs - Suzanne Vega's "In Liverpool" from her 1992 album 99.9 F.
I remember when this record came out, shortly before Madonna's EROTICA record, in the fall of my sophomore year of college. After years and years of exploring her singular style of portraiture and poetry in her songs, based entirely around her guitar, Ms. Vega was rumored to be "breaking out" and making a techno album (which, at the time, was not all that out of the ballpark - the remix of "Tom's Diner" by DNA had been a huge dance hit).
99.9 F proved to be adventurous and exploratory - the arrangements and instruments were bold and conceptual, the mixes on the songs darker and strange. It's a fasincating record that has only grown better and deeper with the passing years (very much like Madonna's has - in a completely different sort of way). "In Liverpool" is a stunning marriage of Ms. Vega's "classic" style of storytelling with the new sounds and textures she was adding to the recording process.
The clip above is from earlier this year, and the song has lost none of its vibrancy and mysterious beauty.
Suzanne Vega is one of the best songwriters in America. Period.