Release Date: Nov 9, 2004
Genre(s): Pop, Adult Alternative, Singer-Songwriter
Record label: A&M
Music Critic Score
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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 teenage 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 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 their cinematic arrangements, driven by her insistent, circular piano and dressed by light layers of strings, guitars, and vocal overdubs.