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Suzanne Vega's Lyrics

August 08, 1987

It is unclear whether Hilburn was more intent on insulting Vega or her audience.

In Vega's song, "Tom's Diner," the entire point is that the trivial events that comprise our daily lives (mindless music reviews inclusive) continue in spite of our own personal turmoil or grief.

Is Vega's work dispassionate or is it the work of a careful observer at once fascinated and overwhelmed by what she sees? The fact that Vega is new to her art no more detracts from its merit than does the obvious naivete of Mitchell in her early albums.

What distinguishes Vega's work from the body of popular music is its insight and its refusal to rely on trite phrases (musical or lyrical), thoughts or invective.

Sadly, these qualities are not evident in Hilburn's review.

WARREN RUBIN

Hermosa Beach

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