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on 6 February 2015
Quite a few years ago, a quartet of female solo singer-songwriters all appeared out of American in the same time, with varying sounds and varying degrees of success. Norah Jones went on the win several Grammy Awards; Avril Lavigne got the attention of the popular press and subsequently married some bloke out of Sum 41 and Michelle Branch got to work with such big names as Sheryl Crow and Santana, also winning a Grammy Award.

However they achieved their success, they all managed to release a second album not too long after their first and Lavigne and Jones have recently managed a third. The fourth member of this little group, Vanessa Carlton, didn’t fare so well. Apart from a supporting role on the Counting Crows’ version of “Big Yellow Taxi”, the film “Two Weeks Notice”, she seemed to have vanished. Indeed, it was only by chance browsing through Amazon that I realised she had a new album available, but I wasn’t about to miss out, having enjoyed the first.

If you’re a fan of well thought out music, this is a must own piece, as this is 40 minutes of wonderfully crafted piano based pop. For any fan of Carlton’s first album, or the likes of Delta Goodrem, this is a must buy, even if it can be a little tricky to track down. Thanks to the darker tone in the last few tracks, it’s not as relaxing as her earlier album, but it is more mature, more well rounded and better musically than “Be Not Nobody” was.

My only regret is that I didn’t realise the album was coming out and I may have missed the opportunity to get my hands on it sooner. If “Harmonium” in indicative of the direction Carlton is heading in, I’ll be eagerly watching for the release of the new album.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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on 18 November 2012
I first came across this artiste when a friend sent me a copy of Hooked on a feeling, which i immediately liked and wanted more. I like her voice and this collection is well worth a listen. I will be buying more of her works when my pension allows.
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on 22 September 2014
This item was delivered promptly and as described :)
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 September 2007
The most impressive part of this album is Vanessa's piano playing - there is no doubt that she is an amzing talent in that department. But, personally I was hoping for more from her songwriting skills. After leaving such a long gap between BE NOT NOBODY and HARMONIUM, I hoped that her lyrical work would have progressed and showcased a maturing star. To a degree that has been delivered, but there are instances in HARMONIUM that do let the side down. "Half a Week Before the Winter" is such a track. Here, Vanessa has opted for a more conceptual song. Vampires and unicorns both make an appearance, but there is not enough behind these images to support the song and make it a truly credible track. I have no idea what it is meant to be about; sure you can make guesses, but Vanessa seems to have gotten bogged down in imagery to the extent that any message is lost.
Other tracks, such as "C'est La Vie", are absolutely brilliant. The lyrics here convey a good sense of meaning - the emotion behind the track is undeniable, making it a song that is easy to relate to and fully appreciate.
"She Floats" is also a noteworthy song, with beautiful lyrics and an amazing orchestral arranegment to reflect the nature of the song.

Because Vanessa is still a young woman, it is more than likely that her talent for creating truly impeccible songs will continue to develop and progress as she matures. While I am aware that she does have genuine talent, I do believe there are still areas for development within her music. Although I cannot give this album a 4 star review, I await her next release to see how she has progressed.
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on 20 July 2010
At first listen, anything Vanessa Carlton churns out may sound to as... 'nice, but that's as far as it goes'. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is so much depth to what she does. Part of what makes it so special is you get more of a glimpse what is under the surface of her music every time you listen.

Following on from Be Not Nobody, this album is another triumph. You can hear her evolve as an artist and her style and the 'mood' of her songs has changed somewhat. But guess what, artists NEED to change, it demonstrates skill and dedication to their work.

The highlights for me are the intro and outro. 'White Houses' is simplicity at its best, it describes memories and experiences from life so enticingly that its as if you're living them with her in your head. 'She Floats' is an eerie, fantastic collage of different ideas and themes of music and is what I look forward to throughout the album. Other highlights include 'Annie' and 'Afterglow', though there's not a bad song on the album.

Always room for improvement and I hope she grows ever stronger at what she does, but this, for now, is certainly appetizing enough, musically speaking!!

It's a pleasure to listen to.
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on 25 May 2005
The other day on a commercial radio station I heard Vanessa Carlton described as a one hit wonder after '1000 miles'. This is so wrong. Vanessa Carlton's music is so different to everything else thats around. Rather than being a droney female singer with whiney, samey sounding songs that dont really go anywhere she has a lot of emotion but manages to put this into cleverly written up tempo songs that immediately grab your attention. I loved every song on this album the first time I heard it, and each time I hear it I like it more. She is such a talented artist, in keeping with many who get little recognition yet produce some of the most amazing works. Favourites- 'White Houses'- poppy and catchy, summery feeling,'Whos to Say'- thoughtful and melodic,'Annie'-bittersweet, and 'She Floats'- the sweeping orchestral strings give this track a mysterious yet magical feel. Its a shame this hasnt been properly released in Britain because it is so good, most of the songs would be hits in my opinion. Its great to hear something that isnt so samey like everything else thats out at the moment. Be Not Nobody, her first album, was one of my favourite albums since I got it, and Harmonium is the same, its never out of my cd player- love it.
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on 25 July 2006
I really don't get why some people/reviewers put down this album? while stupid rubbish such as James Blunt and pop idol get praise for their lame efforts? Vanessa Calrton has proved to be an excellent musican and singer, this album shows that shes exploring, trying out things unlike other artists who like to play it safe all the time!!

I believe her best is to come and this album is just a stepping stone towards that :) give her credit for her efforts, I don't think this album is bad at all, theres alot of rubbish out there that get top marks in magazines, forget what they are saying, its what you think? too many people listen to the media and go with the flow
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on 28 May 2009
Her first album Be Not Nobody was a big hit in this country with the single A Thousand Miles and it had a great version of the Rolling Stones song Paint It Black. Then Vanessa Carlton seemed to disappear without a trace almost but, did lend her voice to the Counting Crows version of Big Yellow Taxi a Joni Mitchell song. Two other great artist there anyway thank the lord for the internet as this is how I found this cd. Harmonium is alot less rocky then her last album but the song writing has improved overall. I really enjoy the tunes she does on the piano and find her music relaxing. Her voice is a bit cute but in a good way. Stand out tracks for me are White Houses, Half A Week Before The Winter and She Floats but all the songs are very good. Vanessa Carlton has also brought out another great album called Heroes & Thieves. She is one of My personal favourie female artist to immerge from this decade alongside KT Tunstall and Joss Stone.
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on 27 March 2005
I have to say that I expect a lot of people wouldn't give this album a 5* rating, but I definately do. Here is why:
I really think Miss Carlton has a style to here music that doen't quite fit into the genre of pop, my first insticnt would be to describe it as gothic pop but that would seem a bit confusing. Her edgy voice and dynamic choice of syntax in her lyrics is something I that I think sets her apart from any other artists.
A lot of people would compare her to Michelle Branch but I rate them both for totally different reasons. I feel that Vanessa has an artistic style and mysterious dark edge which separates her from anyone else.
More specifically this album is clearly a huge progression from her last album, Be Not Knowbody. If you look at the score of music for songs on the old album and those on the new you can see that she has made her scalic and arpegiated melodies more 'meaty' and original.
I like the track 'Annie' for its dramatic and undulating piano playing aswell as the beautiful lyrics.
'She Floats' is another interesting song. I think the orchestra are a great addition to Vanessa's work on this song, especially as she is clearly influenced by ceratin classical artists like Chopain and Bach.
Futhermore this is another reason why I can't just fit Carlton into the Pop genre. To me pop artists don't commonly appreciate classical music, nor do they have metaphoric or dark lyrics, instead they speak cheaply of so called love and sex with no discretion at all.
Anyway just to finish I love this album, not because it is going to be the next big thing which everyone likes but because it has a uniqueness that pulls it away from being a continuation of the music that every other 'tom-dic-and-harry' is producing.
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on 19 July 2010
many see harmonium as vanessa's weakest album to date but i disagree its an album that simply grows on you over time, i myself wasn't that impressed with the album, but the more i listened to it the more the strange melodies and the dark lyrics grew on me. vanessa herself said that be not nobody was an album about first love and that harmonium was the breakup album, this is ovious in the many different songs, while this is in no way her best work, it deffinately beats out be no nobody by a mile, once you give it a chance.
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