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Harmonium

Vanessa Carlton

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Album Review

On her second album, Harmonium, singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton enlists her boyfriend, Stephan Jenkins — best-known as the frontman of the popular post-grunge band Third Eye Blind — as a producer and co-songwriter, and his presence doesn't so much alter Carlton's music as give it a sharper, direct focus. Carlton and Jenkins focus on the lush, dramatic teen-age angst that made "A Thousand Miles" a big hit in 2002, using that song as the template for a collection of songs that are intimate on a grand scale. Carlton's songs often read like diary entries, dealing with such familiar adolescent themes as love and longing, and they sound even smaller when delivered in her thin but appealing girlish voice, but they gain stature when married to the cinematic arrangements, driven by her insistent, circular piano and dressed by light layers of strings, guitars, and vocal overdubs. Where her Be Not Nobody debut could sound endearingly awkward, Harmonium is confident and somber, a conscious attempt to be serious and mature.

Customer Reviews

Excellency Personified.

WOW - just, wow. This album is AMAZING. Not as big of a seller as "Be Not Nobody", but we defintiely get to see the real Carlton underneath her pop layers. Underneath, she's an amzing singer, dancer, and piano player. I don't regret for a second buying this CD. White Houses - 4/5 stars only because I listened to it too much when I first got the CD. Who's to Say - 5/5 stars. It's my favorite song because it reminds me of my sister and her boyfriend. They're 15 and in love and my parents want her to break up with him...and I'm always reminded of this song... Annie - 4.5/5 a deep and strange message San Francisco - 5/5 a great beat and fun to sing to. Don't really understand the lyrics tho. Afterglow - 3.5/5 - ok. Private Radio - 4.5/5 - second favorite Half a week before the winter - 5/5 i love the lyrics theyre so weird it's like she's schizophrenic! C'est la vie - 3/5 - ok Papa-3/5 eeehhh She floats - 4/5 good stuff The Wreckage - 5/5 good stufffff

the perfect summer weekend record

There are some songs on this that stand out as emotionally evocative, particularly "Who's To Say" and "San Francisco". A stellar second album, with songs co-written with Vanessa's boyfriend, Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind. His influence is clear on the drums and arrangements, and the more rockin' tunes like "Private Radio". All in all, this album is about as innocent as it gets, just some perfect summer love. Highly recommended. And check the shrieks on She Floats. Punk rock is the new punk rock.

Wow...brilliant. Just brilliant.

Vanessa Carlton's "Harmonium" is one of the most perfect records I have ever heard. An improvement over her still wonderful first album, "Harmonium" is much darker and deals with more mature themes. The first single, "White Houses" is a perfect song that did not get the attention it deserved. She may not have a Whitney Houston voice, but hers is so young and innocent that I really don't care at all. Anyway, I can't find a song on this album that I don't like. My favorite is "Papa" because the piano on that song is just amaznig. This album is HIGHLY reccommended from me.

Biography

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...
Full Bio

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