Vanessa Carlton – Harmonium

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Vanessa Carlton
Artist: Vanessa Carlton
Title: Harmonium
Label: Geffen
Rating: 6.5/10

CORPORATE LINE: “Harmonium” is Vanessa Carlton’s follow up to her multi-platinum debut Be Not Nobody, which had the number one single “A Thousand Miles” and top ten single “Ordinary Day”. She wrote it while on tour and on sojourn in San Francisco. Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind produced Harmonium and it was recorded in San Francisco and Los Angeles over the last year. “Harmonium” takes its name from a vintage instrument which combines piano and flute. To Vanessa it means bringing difficult, chaotic things, things that have trouble fitting in one’s life together to achieve harmony. Each of Harmonium’s ingenious and individual tracks are unified by the talents of this unique musician and the purity of her voice. The result is a wholly authentic new album from Vanessa Carlton, and it marks her emergence as a musical stylist.

THE GREAT:
“San Francisco” – There is something so “Dawson’s Creek” and “O.C.” about this song. If it ever ends up on some teeny-bopper television show remember I told you so.
“Private Radio” – It doesn’t make much sense but you can’t fight the feeling of wanting to dance and sing.

THE AVERAGE:
“White Houses” – Lush with a quickened pace that keeps you perky and ready for each verse to come.
“Annie” – Some gorgeous yet awkward moments and yet Carlton makes it sound fun throughout.
“Winter” – Beautiful—not great lyrics however.

THE BAD:
Nothing.

FRANKLY: You want to love every song so much and yet you can’t quite figure out why. Vanessa Carlton sounds like a friend who is trying to make you feel better by bringing sunshine to your day. It’s that reassurance and harmony which makes it hard not to like each and every song even when they are average—and that is the problem. Many of the songs ride the fine line between very good and okay.

+ Rae Gun

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