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Heroes & Thieves

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Album Review

Vanessa Carlton spent much of her second album, Harmonium, running away from the pop success that her 2002 debut, Be Not Nobody, and its inescapable hit single, "A Thousand Miles," brought her, choosing to turn inward and confessional. It was an artistic decision that had a perhaps predictable side effect: it didn't sell nearly as much as the debut, failing to crack the Top 30 and generating not one hit single. Given this sophomore slump, it's not entirely surprising that for her third album, 2007's Heroes & Thieves, she's elected for a compromise between the two extremes: embracing the soft pop that brought her fame without rejecting the confessionals that distinguished her second. Some of this is merely straightforward heartache — after the 2004 release of Harmonium, Carlton parted ways with Stephan Jenkins, the Third Eye Blind leader who produced the album — but there are other matters on her mind, as evidenced by the mother-daughter saga "Spring Street" and the line about losing her record deal on the album's opening song and single, "Nolita Fairytale." True, she's moved from A&M to the rap-identified The Inc., but this isn't as drastic a change as it seems: the two labels are within the Universal umbrella, and Carlton has hardly gone hip-hop here. Instead, Heroes & Thieves delivers the expected, even more so than her second album: sweeping gusts of piano, sounds that feel dramatic but not weighty. Like on Be Not Nobody, there's a sense of lightness to Carlton's writing — even if things get a little sad here, they're not gloomy — which not only makes her accessible, it means that it's as easy to take this as mood music as it is for introspection. That Carlton doesn't quite provide incentive to dig deeper could be called a flaw — her voice is too sweet and girlish to command, her melodies mellifluous but not grabbing — but Heroes & Thieves flows easily, and it's a nice return to the strengths of her debut.

Customer Reviews


Vanessa Carlton's new album rocks! 1)Nolita Fairytale-the album's 1st single, it's really good. 9.9/10 2)Hands On Me-one of my favorites, it's rumord to be the 2nd single. 9.9/10 3)Spring Street-it's has a good message that some people can relate to. 9.8/10 4)My Best-it's pretty good, but i don't listen to it that much. 9.5/10 5)Come Undone-my 3rd favorite song on here! it's really good. 10/10 6)The One-this song has Stevie Nicks singing backround vocals in the chorus. 9.5/10 7)Heroes & Thieves-my avorite song on here! i hope it becomes a single. 10/10 8)This Time-it's pretty good. it's good to listen to when you're relaxing. 9.6/10 9)Fools Like Me-my 2nd favorite song on here. th beat is really good. 10/10 10)Home-it's a great ballad to listen to. 9.6/10 11)More Than This-another good track to listen to whn you'r relaxing. 9.6/10 All in all Vanessa Carlton did a great job on this album. You rock Vanessa Carlton!!!

Sensational!!! beyond reason!!!

The collection of music is magical, if that is enough of a word. 1.Nolita Fairytale-The album starts out strong, but you'll be suprised to find there are much better songs on the album. 2.Hands On Me- After hearing the unmastered version of this song, I was impressed, but this final version is gold. 3.Spring Street- Frankly, this is the album's weakest point, but that doesn't mean I don't love it. 4.My Best-This songs starts out a bit weak, but don't be discuraged, it picks up wonderfully. 5.Come Undone- The melody to this song is great, and the lyrics are spot on. 6.The One- This song starts off with a nice little haunting beginning. The bridge is what makes this song superb. 7.Heroes and Thieves- This song carryings on smoothly, the lyrics are great and origonal, and the bridge is also great. 8.This Time- This song is top 4 on the album. I love the lyrics and I the melody is encouraging. 9.FOOLS LIKE ME- This is in my opinion, the BEST song on the album. The bridge has this magical quality so beautiful you won't be able to stop listening. The preview doesn't do this song justice. 10. Home- The lyrics in this song are probably the best on the album, and the chorus is great. 11.More Than This- This isn't the best song the album, but it is still great. It has a nice melody change midway throught that sounds a bit rough at first, but ends up great. Overall, this is a must buy!!! It is my favorite album of the year, and you'll be missing out if you don't buy. Vanessa, I can't wait for you to tour, I'll be there in a second!

A Great Followup for a Great Artist

After the supposed failure we call 'Harmonium', Vanessa Carlton's label dropped her, and she was soon signed on with the Inc, with other artists we--well--wouldn't expect her to be, one of the more prominent ones being Ja Rule. So while we were a little wary, but when Nolita Fairytale came out, Vanessa reminded us that despite the label change, she is still staying true to her heart, her upbringing and her music, singing about her home in Nolita, NY and everything from Stevie Nicks to her dog, Victor. This album is a rollercoaster, and we're along for one hell of a ride. From the previously released single, Nolita Fairytale, and Hands On Me, a passionate love song, we travel through the reminiscince of "My Best" ("Upon my shoulder you can rest/'Cause I'll always give you my best") and "Come Undone", through the young love of "The One", featuring Stevie Nicks. Then, by number 7, we find ourselves at the title track, "Heroes and Theives". Though this song is still a favorite among fans, compared to just her and her piano, the song seems sadly overproduced. But there's a lot of wisdom in those lyrics, the kind that can't be covered up by overproduction. ("We'll I'm stubborn and wrong, but at least I know it/I keep moving along and hope I can get through this") After the title track, we have "This Time". While the lyrics are relateable and endearing, "This Time" isn't one of the stronger tracks on this album, espcially following the title track. But never fear, following "This Time" is one of my favorites, "Fools Like Me". The lyrics speak of the naivete of love, how the wisest of people are often the most foolish. While for the first few listens the song may com off as bitter, you soon begin to understand that Vanessa, writing about her own breakup, does not regret being the fool and falling in love. After the happy, contented sigh that is "Fools Like Me", the album builds to my all-time favorite track, "Home". I'm happy to say that this is not overproduced in the least, and the addition of drums and an orchestra near the end gives the song a whole new build, leading up to the 1:38 piano solo, showing off Vanessa's mad piano skills. But that's not to say the lyrics are without merit. The lyrics are simple, but meaningful. (The chorus being: "Even now/When I'm alone/I've always known/With you/I am home.") Overall the track is magnificent, a work of art, and will have a special place in my heart and my music collection for a really really long time. And with one of the best choices for an ending track I have ever seen, "More Than This" has already been called the new masterpiece of her career, from the slowly growing piano to the passionate, hopeful lyrics, ("I'll never need more than this.") In conclusion, this album is worth far more than the price they're asking, but definitely worth a listen, even if you've never listened to Vanessa Carlton since "A Thousand Miles". After all, it's never too late to become a Nessaholic. I would know. ~November Midnights


Born: August 16, 1980 in Milford, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with Michelle Branch and Nelly Furtado, Vanessa Carlton helped usher in a new era of female songwriters during the early 2000s. "A Thousand Miles," her first single, was one of the biggest songs of 2002, topping the pop charts in America and cracking the Top Ten in England. None of her subsequent singles came close to matching that song's success, but Carlton continued releasing albums into the following decade, fine-tuning a sweeping, cinematic pop sound that featured her vocals and piano...
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Heroes & Thieves, Vanessa Carlton
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