Album: Tales From The Realm of the Queen of Pentacles
. . .
Of course, like so many artists from the 80s & 90s, Suzanne Vega never stopped recording, though in the second half of the 2010s she did a four-volume set of re-recordings from her back catalog — each album’s songs grouped thematically — with stripped-down arrangements, kinda like what U2 just did with Songs of Surrender.
And so, when 2014’s Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles came out, it was her first record of all-new material in seven years, and featured a near hard-rock tune called “I Never Wear White,” which joins one of the smaller Departments of Certain Songs: The Dressing in Black Clothes Department. And so, framed by actual power chords and booming drums, Vega explains herself.
I never wear white
White is for virgins
Children in summer
Brides in the park
My color is black, black, black
Black is for secrets
Outlaws and dancers
For the poet of the dark
In the chorus, she sings “Black is the truth of my situation,” echoing Morrissey in The Smiths’ “Unloveable,” Steve Wynn in the Dream Syndicate’s “Black” and Brad Sheppard in the Hoodoo Gurus’ “Dressed in Black.”
As “I Never Wear White” progresses, it gets more and more menacing, as drummer Jay Bellerose alternates smashes and builds, Gerry Leonard’s guitars crunch and squeal and ringer Tony Levin holds it all together while Vega occasionally chants “black black black” throughout.
“I Never Wear White” Official Music Video
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