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Before summer slips away, lets pay tribute to Suzanne Vega and her superlative “Beauty and Crimes,” one of the season’s best CDs.

After a six-year recording absence, the 48-year-old folk mistress, famous for her 80s hits “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner,” returned triumphantly with a deeply personal record about love, loss and New York City.

Vega, as adventurous as ever, stretches the boundaries of the singer-songwriter in an album that contains 11 songs and spans 34 minutes. Every song is a stunner. My favorite: “New York Is A Woman.”

Vega is on tour in North America this month. Check out for details.