Under the guidance of producer Mitchell Froom, who produced 99.9 F° and married her shortly after that album was completed, Suzanne Vega continues to explore more textured and vaguely experimental musical territory on Nine Objects of Desire. While it is less bold on the surface than its predecessor -- most notably, there are no pseudo-industrial rhythms -- Nine Objects of Desire still bears all the trademarks of a Mitchell Froom production. There is cheap, garage-yard percussion scattered throughout the record, layered keyboards, and overly mannered, arty arrangements. It's not as extreme as Froom's work for Los Lobos, for instance, but it is still more self-consciously pretentious than any of Vega's albums, besides 99.9 F°. Vega's songs manage to cut through the murky production more often than not, and while the album doesn't boast her most consistent set of songs, they are on the whole stronger than the ones on her previous record. The songs on Nine Objects of Desire are more classically structured and inviting than the ones on its predecessor -- it is only the production that keeps the listener at a distance. And that's ironic, since half of these songs rank among Vega's most personal work.
Performance CreditsSuzanne Vega Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Don Byron Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Tchad Blake Guitar,Electric Guitar,Whistle (Instrument)
Dave Douglas Trumpet,Muted Trumpet
Mark Feldman Strings
Mitchell Froom Keyboards,Moog Bass
Jerry Marotta Percussion,Drums
Sebastian Steinberg Bass,Acoustic Bass
Bruce Thomas Bass
Pete Thomas Percussion,Drums,Drum Loop
Steve Donnelly Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
Yuval Gabay Drums
Jane Scarpantoni Strings,Cello
Cecilia Sparacio Flute
Matthew Pierce Strings
Ted Falcon Strings
Technical CreditsTchad Blake Engineer
Mitchell Froom Producer,Contributor,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
'99.9 Degrees' was such a breakthrough album for Suzanne Vega, any follow up would fall short of it. 'Nine Objects...' fills the bill; it's good but not great because the novelty of the previous album wore off. Once more, Mitchell Froom is twiddling the knobs, but there's the sense of adventure missing that was so astounding on '99.9'. He still can match the mood of the songs. Check out ''Birth-day (love made real)''. Suzanne Vega's in labor and you feel that because of the production. This song wouldn't have the same impact if it were just Ms. Vega and a guitar. Listen to how the lines ''one thing i know/ this pain will grow'' were recorded. It makes a difference. Other stand outs are ''Caramel'' with its pseudo-jazz setting; ''World Before Columbus'' (you'd swear it was Ringo on the drums); ''Honeymoon Suite'' (Ms. Vega's usual coma style singing is perfect for the song's mood); and ''Tombstone''. Like ''99.9'', a lot of fans hated this disc for the sound. Folk music fans tend to be an unadventurous sort (ask Bob Dylan). I'll admit I don't play this album as much as '99.9', but I'm still glad I have it.
Suzanne Vega has finally proven herself. The promise that was made with 99.9 is kept with this far more honest and solid album. The songs here, especially "Lolita" and "Caramel," have such depth and sincerity as was lacking in the songs in the previous album. But apart from the great lyrics and outstanding production, it's Vega's signature style that makes this album unforgettable.