Beauty & Crime

Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Beauty & Crime is, without reservation, the defining creative moment of Suzanne Vega's career thus far.
  2. While the lovely melodies and Vega's hushed vocals make it perfectly good background music, to achieve the full effect you have to listen to those lyrics--she's one of the finest lyricists of recent times.
  3. Nothing too dire mars Vega’s compositions, which remain as condensed and detailed as Victorian miniatures.
  4. It's trim rather than hurried, does not waste a note and, because of that, may be the best of Vega's seven studio albums.
  5. Underneath all of those lush, gorgeous strings, [producer] Hogarth then layered the electronic beats, delays, fades, and distortions that lend the album its freshness and vitality.
  6. The results are richly satisfying throughout.
  7. Thanks to a keen sense of proportion and concision--and the unmannered integrity of Ms. Vega’s singing style--the album isn’t ponderous.
  8. Almost every song is a gem, the lyrics thoughtful and melodies memorable.
  9. Beauty & Crime, an artful array distinguished by classy sonic design and lyrical charm.
  10. The first five cuts on Beauty & Crime are absolutely gorgeous--near and sheer perfection.... The remaining songs, while enjoyable and meeting Ms. Vega’s usually high lyrical standards, don’t gel quite as smoothly.
  11. Under The Radar
    70
    Beauty & Crime is an effective meeting point between her folky organic side and more experimental bent, and is populated with her strongest melodies since the dazzling "Nine Objects of Desire." [Summer 2007, p.91]
  12. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    The brushed drums and acoustic guitars of 'Anniversary' allow her whispery voice room to breathe. [10 Aug 2007, p. 69]

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Oct 30, 2014
    7
    "Beauty and Crime" is a cohesive piece of work with all the songs contributing to the whole, with a general theme seeming to be based on New"Beauty and Crime" is a cohesive piece of work with all the songs contributing to the whole, with a general theme seeming to be based on New York life. The songs are typical Vega - strong songwriting, great lyrics, simple melodies, smooth vocals. Each track gets to its point promptly and in a straightforward manner. "Beauty and Crime" is over before you know it and this makes it easy to miss the craft put into making such a simple and straightforward sounding record. While the songwriting is good, "Beauty and Crime" works best as an album with all the songs working well together rather than on an individual level. It's hard to say whether anything on here would make an updated "Best of " compilation. There is no standout track or hit single but at this stage in Vega's career, her fans don't need this and will find everything they are looking for here. Lean, tight songs that hit the spot. Full Review »
  2. ChrisC
    Oct 4, 2007
    9
    This album is a big example of why the critical community needs to stop ignoring genres that aren't rock, electronic, 'indie', This album is a big example of why the critical community needs to stop ignoring genres that aren't rock, electronic, 'indie', or rap. There's some damn good folk and country out there too. Full Review »
  3. PadraigJ.
    Aug 8, 2007
    8
    I didn't know I could enjoy music like this anymore. A morally chastizing female singer/songwriter- tsk-tsking over our love of I didn't know I could enjoy music like this anymore. A morally chastizing female singer/songwriter- tsk-tsking over our love of pornography, plastic surgery, and most unpleasantly that position so many musicial New Yorkers take that their beloved city is being ruined by suburbanites. Yet its nice and ...real? Not overly synthesizer produced with scores of violins, bird squaks, and samplings you can kind of pretend you're an adult and in some swanky New York cocktail lounge. She's got such a sexy subtle voice. "Pornagrapher's Dream" hasn't left my head for two days. Full Review »