Over 20 years into her storied career, singer Suzanne Vega shows that she remains one of the freshest voices in popular music today with the release of Beauty & Crime, her seventh album.

Revolving around the theme of New York, the city where Vega was raised and still lives, the 11 original songs on Beauty & Crime remind those of us who are old enough to remember "Tom's Diner" (complete with its myriad remixes) why we fell in love with Suzanne in the first place. For a younger generation, this new collection of songs fits in nicely among a the latest crop of artists (Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Coco Rosie) whose quietly strummed sounds are making quite a ruckus these days.

From the driving opener "Zephyr & I," which recounts a conversation with the seminal graffiti artist while strolling down West End Avenue, to the ghosts of Lower East Side haunts depicted in "Ludlow Street," to "New York is a Woman," which personifies the city as a hard-luck lady whose beauty still shines, Vega captures the spirit of her hometown's past, present and future. The album also includes two of her most personal songs yet, a love song for her husband ("Bound") and a dedication to her daughter ("As You Are Now").

The sessions, recorded in both New York and London, were produced by Jimmy Hogarth (Sia, Corinne Bailey Rae, K.T. Tunstall), mixed by Tchad Blake, and included an eclectic cast including orchestral arranger Will Malone (Dido, Seal, Corrine Bailey Rae), background vocalist and vocal arranger K.T. Tunstall, guitarists Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), bassist Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith), as well as members of Vega's touring band, bassist Mike Visceglia, and drummer Doug Yowell.

Listen To 'Frank and Ava': Windows | Real

-Suzanne Vega Pictures

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