Harmonium

  • Record Label: A&M
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2004
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic 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. Entertainment Weekly
    67
    Amid the dippy Dear Diary lyrics and gratuitous string sections, however, are a few treasures. [12 Nov 2004, p.122]
  3. 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.
  4. Even if this album perhaps only has one hope for a hit single, the album is much stronger and reflects that unlike many of her contemporaries, Carlton is moving forwards and towards something.
  5. 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.
  6. You can't simply put strings on next to every song and think that makes you a mature artist.
  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.
  8. Mojo
    40
    She seems to have a sound that needs more sophisticated compositions. [Nov 2004, p.95]
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 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! Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. MusicLover
    Oct 22, 2007
    10
    This is the only Vanessa Carlton album I can stomach listening to. I dunno why, but I guess she was daring on this album. I find this one a This is the only Vanessa Carlton album I can stomach listening to. I dunno why, but I guess she was daring on this album. I find this one a classic, but her other albums lame. Full Review »