Harmonium - Vanessa Carlton
Harmonium Image
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: The singer's second effort finds her teamed with Third Eye Blind leader (and current beau) Stephan Jenkins.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. With lyrics that sound like teen soap-opera scripts and music so mellow it makes Dido sound like an espresso junkie, songs like "White Houses" and "She Floats" are tailor-made to soothe the soul.
  2. Amid the dippy Dear Diary lyrics and gratuitous string sections, however, are a few treasures. [12 Nov 2004, p.122]
  3. 60
    With help from someone who’s been through it all and had time to think about it twice, Carlton has made music for growing-ups that is neither cloying nor pretentious.... Yet a sneaking sense remains that she can reach deeper.
  4. Harmonium is confident and somber, a conscious attempt to be serious and mature that nevertheless still sounds adolescent, largely due to her earnest lyrics and overly ambitious music.
  5. You can't simply put strings on next to every song and think that makes you a mature artist.
  6. 40
    She seems to have a sound that needs more sophisticated compositions. [Nov 2004, p.95]
  7. Though Carlton's a better lyricist than faded contemporaries such as Michelle Branch, that fussy piano tends to muscle her out of her own songs.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Kate
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    this is such a great album! its a great follow up to her first album ... its so amazing.
  2. AaronB.
    Jan 16, 2008
    10
    I'm disappointed in this album, not In the songs, the music or the writing, but at the way the Record label handled it. It was horribly I'm disappointed in this album, not In the songs, the music or the writing, but at the way the Record label handled it. It was horribly promoted which is why it was not well received by most people, they didn't know anything of it. 'White Houses' was overplayed way too much over the radio. This is a flawless album, her lyrics are beautiful and moving, and the overall tone is calming...enjoy it! Expand
  3. LawsonS
    Feb 13, 2005
    10
    This would have to be the best album I have heard in a long time! All of the songs have different moods, unlike main-stream rap which is This would have to be the best album I have heard in a long time! All of the songs have different moods, unlike main-stream rap which is basically about killing people and other stupid things. Vannesa Carlton has really changed what she sings about since 'Be Not Nobody', and it's a wonderful change! Expand
  4. JoshS
    Jun 22, 2006
    10
    This album is too much for current pop music, and THAT is like oxygen. An entire idea of Vanessa's artism, Harmonuim begins in Spring This album is too much for current pop music, and THAT is like oxygen. An entire idea of Vanessa's artism, Harmonuim begins in Spring and ends in Winter. Her music is enveloping, and her innocentesque voice is a beautiful contridiction to the tone of her at times deeply dark arrangements. The lyrics are emoted, not over sung. Loosing the support of her label to further promote Harmonium, left Who's to Say, one of the best songs i have heard in YEARS, a secret only album owners could revel in. Expand
  5. AlfonsoG
    Jun 11, 2007
    10
    Its freaking awesome. She ahs deeep lyrics unlike todays most artists. But of course people are too dumb to realize how great of music she has!
  6. MattW
    Feb 15, 2008
    9
    I thought that this was such an amazing album. It isn't 'bubble gum pop' like some people put it. The songs all sounded I thought that this was such an amazing album. It isn't 'bubble gum pop' like some people put it. The songs all sounded completely different which I liked, and her voice sounds a lot better than in 'Be Not Nobody'. It's literally the best album I've ever heard, it has very dark themes in the lyrics and yet most of the songs are quite up-beat, which is great because it's good if you want music and also good if you want to get something from the lyrics. It's not very conventional which is nice, it's better than the songs we hear on the radio or on the music channels. I actually don't skip any of the songs, unlike Be Not Nobody and Heroes & Thieves. I do like the other albums as well, but I prefer rock music but this album caught me. I saw 'White Houses' on Yahoo music because it's one of the songs that comes up automatically and I listened to other songs on YouTube and then I bought this album, because it had the best songs. Though I wish she made more videos, released more singles and put on a couple of extra tracks. Expand
  7. Ces
    Jan 19, 2006
    4
    I bought this album because I fell in love with White Houses, but the rest of the album is very slow and not appealing. It could just be my I bought this album because I fell in love with White Houses, but the rest of the album is very slow and not appealing. It could just be my taste, but the following tracks are dull compared to her first song on the album. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews