4.8 39
by Vanessa Carlton
In an era when female singers tend to equate growing up with shedding clothes, Vanessa Carlton stands out as a young woman who's maturing the old-fashioned way -- by exploring deeper topics and evolving her own musical style. On Harmonium, her sophomore outing, Carlton uses her baroque piano stylings as a jumping-off point for a set of surprisingly


In an era when female singers tend to equate growing up with shedding clothes, Vanessa Carlton stands out as a young woman who's maturing the old-fashioned way -- by exploring deeper topics and evolving her own musical style. On Harmonium, her sophomore outing, Carlton uses her baroque piano stylings as a jumping-off point for a set of surprisingly sophisticated, beautifully orchestrated compositions. Thanks in part to the production work of Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins -- who also happens to be Carlton's significant other -- the disc has more upbeat, poppy moments than its predecessor, notably the breezy title track and the spirited "Private Radio," which revels in simple expressions of individuality. The 24-year-old singer doesn't skimp, however, on the confessional-styled yarns, as evidenced by the Tori Amos–inflected "Annie" and the yearning "She Floats." The sophistication of Carlton's musicianship is unmistakable, but her endearingly girlish vocal delivery -- most palpable on the graceful "Papa" -- ensures that the proceedings don't get overly heavy.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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 teen-age 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 such 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 the cinematic arrangements, driven by her insistent, circular piano and dressed by light layers of strings, guitars, and vocal overdubs. Where her Be Not Nobody debut could sound endearingly awkward, Harmonium is confident and somber, a conscious attempt to be serious and mature.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vanessa Carlton   Primary Artist,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Lindsey Buckingham   Acoustic Guitar
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Sid Page   Violin
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Jacqueline Brand   Violin
Luis Conte   Percussion
Larry Corbett   Cello
Brian Dembow   Viola
Joel Derouin   Violin
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Armen Garabedian   Violin
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Julie Gigante   Violin
Endre Granat   Violin
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Roland Kato   Viola
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
Abraham Laboriel   Drums
David Low   Cello
Robin Olson   Violin
Simon Oswell   Viola
Kazi Pitelka   Viola
Anatoly Rosinsky   Violin
Geri Rotella   Flute
Danny Seidenberg   Viola
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
Tom Boyd   Oboe
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Stephan Jenkins   Organ,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Pharrell Williams   Background Vocals
Nico Abondolo   Bass
Jesse Tobias   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Arion Salazar   Bass,Electric Guitar
Emily Bernstein   Clarinet
Eun Mee Ahn   Violin
Roberto Cani   Violin
Michael Valerio   Bass
Oscar Hidalgo   Bass
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Samuel Formicola   Viola
Songa Lee   Violin
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Phillip Levy   Violin
Marlow Fisher   Viola
Franklyn D'Antonio   Violin
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Lily Ho Chen   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Sarah Parkins   Violin

Technical Credits

Ron Fair   Executive Producer,String Arrangements
Frank Wolf   Engineer
Stephan Jenkins   Composer,Producer
Drew FitzGerald   Art Direction,Illustrations
Lior Goldenberg   Engineer
Tal Herzberg   Engineer
Vanessa Carlton   Composer,Executive Producer,Art Direction
Jun Ishizeki   Engineer
Sean Beresford   Engineer
Tony Espinoza   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Harmonium 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this cd is unlike most music out there it has a classic feel yet a refreshing modern take to it. you really can relate to these songs and feel the emotion. its very flowy and vanessa writes amazing lyrics. she is very orginal in every song she does. incorporating different sounds and doesnt just talk about love lik every1 else, this is so much deeper! go and buy it she is awesum!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vanessa makes another great CD. From the very beautiful Afterglow to the catchy White Houses to the wonderful lyrics in Who's To Say and the great music in San Francisco. Vanessa has followed up her hit Be Not Nobody with great success. Not only do you get awesome music but you also get a behind the scenes look at the making of the CD with the video track Pleased to Meet You.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the perfect album to touch the heart and soul of every young women!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vanessa Carlton has done it again, with the followup to her 2002 platinum debut album, Be Not Nobody. Harmonium is jam packed with spine tingling melodies and lyrics to match. From the airy, upbeat sounds of "San Fransisco," to the dark and scary sounding "She Floats," There is something on Harmonium to match every mood. The lyrics (especially on the top-30 single, White Houses), are like reading someone's diary. Vanessa Carlton has truly shown her growth as an artist with her sophomore album. Harmonium is a sheer work of art. I highly recomend it. Five stars, hands down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is the perfect sophmore album release. Vanessa Carlton has outdone herself with this album. I can't stop listening to the outstanding songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is an amazing one!!!! her voice and her songs and piano playing is TREMENDOUS!! i DEFINITELY recommend EVERYONE to buy this album!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting forever for the release of this cd and the wait was well worth it. THis cd is even better then her first wahich was amazing in its own way. This cd really shows a personal and more real picture of who vanessa really is. He piano work is still awesome and her vice is even more alluring. All the songs are specail in a certin way. SOme of them have a upbet rhythm while others a seriuos meggage to relay. Either way this cd is well woth buying for its large range of rhythm, vocals, and lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? Harmonium is wonderful!!! It's one of those rare CDs you can listen to over and over again, without skipping tracks, it's one of those CDs that you want to listen to all the time, and when you're not listening to it, you catch yourself singing them out loud!!! I highly reccommend this CD, it's for anyone who can handle enormous talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally loved Harmonium because it presented the STORY of love along with the bottom line of initiating love and breaking it apart... it also presented some awesome melodies and outstanding lyrics... definately a must have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Vanessa Carlton fan for ages, but this album is far more than I ever expected. She truly has outdone herself, yet again! I highly recommend this album to anyone. It has so many different songs, all of them with a different theme. Theres a little something for everyone! Enjoy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved Be Not Nobody, and love Harmonium too! I highly recommend this album if you liked her first one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her sophmore cd was awesome, great lyrics, great music, great vocals!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've only heard White Houses on the radio, you haven't heard anything until you buy this album. Don't get me wrong! White Houses is an amazing song, but along with Who's To Say, Annie, Afterglow and Private Radio, it makes this one of my favorite albums that I own. (Not to mention that Be Not Nobody is also one of my favorite albums) It's not often that I love every song on a CD, but DAMN!! Every song on this CD is great. Buy it...listen to it until your ears bleed. And even then...DON'T STOP LISTENING!.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vanessa has shown again that she is a great singer, songwriter, and pianist!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one excellent sophomore album from vanessa.. it shows how much she has grown as a musician.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After Vanessa's first album, "Be Not Nobody", I didn't think she could do much better. I was proven wrong. I got the Album on the first day it came out and I was amazed. It's impossible to tell you what my favorite song was because they were all so awesome. As soon as I could, I sat down at my piano and started to figure out several of the songs. "White houses", is a fresh piece written in c full of awesome chords and so much stuff going on it was amazing. "Who's to say" was one of the ones I was working out, with 4 basic chords throughout the whole thing, its amazing how Vanessa made it so complicated and it astonishes me that she can do so much with only 4 chords. "Annie", had piano much like "Wanted" of her first album, but more complicated and laced with her classical style. "San Francisco" has awesome piano as well, and a catchy melody. "Afterglow", if I had to choose, would be my favorite. The piano is so catchy and the harmonies so rich that it has almost a tangible quality to it. "Private Radio" just makes me want to dance! "Half a week before the winter" is so mysterious and shows a little more of Vanessa's darker side, and still of course awesome piano. "'Cest la Vie" just makes you move to the awesome progressions, with its hint of Jazz. "Papa" has awesome piano and a super catchy chorus. "She floats" has a delicate and moving quality with a legato flow to it. "Wreckage", the bonus track, is also a taste of her darker side, fresh and mysterious, it makes me think of mist for some reason... Well, in my opinion, "Harmonium" was a perfect follow up album to "Be Not Nobody", and its a must have to your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Who's To Say" and "Private Radio" are the best tracks! Vanessa will make you feel so peaceful!! :) You have to buy this album!! YOu will not regret it. It is excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vanessa's album is one of the best album's..EVER! It has beautiful swaying piano playing. And very sweet harmony. Vanessa will take you on a magical journey with her lastest album. Her beautiful melodies and voice will move you! Please listen to the album! Its REALLY GOOD! ;)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best I've heard in a LOOONG time. I love the Energy of "Private Radio", the beautiful reflectiveness of "White Houses" , and the sarcasm of "C'est La Vie". I recommend this to anyone who wants music that's real and not poppy fake.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is very cool. Vanessa rox her musics are beatiful. I recommend this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An easy to decide 5 Star rating for Carlton's second album. Produced by Vanessa's boyfriend, Stephen Jenkins, who is also Third Eye Blind's frontman, Carlton handles the pressure of a sophomore album with ease. The album is great the entire way through, no song sticks out as a bad song, their all great, an incredible album. It's a must for anyone no matter what your likes are in music, she'll please you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Vanessa Carlton ever since her first album came out. I thought she was very talented at the piano and vocally. All her songs were different from music that was out at the time, it sounded more haunting and less pop. This time around, it gets even better. I LOVE this album. Every song on it is great, I don't skip any. I love how all the instruments and her voice make the songs sound gothic and interesting, unlike a lot of the songs out now. Heres a song by song review: 1. White Houses - amazing first single. The way she writes this song is so honest and the piano is played really well. I first heard this song expecting a lot because I couldn't wait for her new album and I was blown away. I couldn't stop listening to it! Also, the video is really cool and shows she hasn't lost her talent for dancing. 5/5 2.Who's To Say - this might be my favorite song of all of them. She puts a lot of emotion into this song despite what other reviewers have said. her voice also sounds really strong. 5/5 3. Annie- this song is really sad but it also shows her talent for songwriting. 4/5 4. San Fransisco - I love this song because it has a really cool melody, and I really like the chorus. 5/5 5.Afterglow-this is more of a slow song, but its still really pretty. 3/5 6. Private Radio - this song is very catchy, but i disagree with reviewers who say this is the next 1000 miles. this is more edgy, and less poppy than that song, but its great all the same. the ending is also cool. 5/5 7. Half A Week Before the Winter - i think the way she talks about unicorns and vampires is interesting and different, and i like this song. its sad tho, the way she suggests the vampires attacked the unicorns, or at least thats what I got from the song. 4/5 8. Cest La Vie - this song is another good song. the chorus is the best part and i like the way the piano and vocals sound on this song. 4/5 9. Papa - the piano is amazing in this song. i like the way she says he is a genuine wannabe and the way the piano is played in the chorus. 5/5 10. She Floats- this is an ok song, but i like the lyrics. 3/5 11. the wreckage - this song is good, the melody and piano is awesome as usual, and the lyrics are interesting and kind of sad at the same time. 4/5 All in all, you HAVE to get this CD. I LOVE all the songs, i can't stop listening to this! All the songs have amazing songwriting and piano, and her vocals sound stronger too. She should win a Grammy!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am truely impressed with Vanessa's new sound that comes about with this new album. I have fallen in love with "San Fran" "Who's to say" "Afterglow" "Annie" "Papa"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who could have asked for more in a debut album? Vanessa Carlton's "Be Not Nobody" sprung three singles and a world of acclaim. This dancer-turned musician took her lifetime love for piano and blended that passion with her voice and created something magical. Carlton's vocals are fueled by something inside, light and innocent with a rock-tinge... In releasing her followup, "Harmonium" in 2004, Carlton has done it again...though this time there is nary a trace of innocence. It what has been called a much "darker" album, "Harmonium" is a no holds barred look peep into Carlton's own diary. A musician's diary is her songbook, very personal and inspired. She sings of a forbidden love that no one approves of in "Who's To Say," a car crash in "The Wreckage." You won't find any catchy pop hooks on this album...but aren't you sick of those? "Harmonium" delivers something less superficial, something deeper, music with something hiding under the surface. With rich orchestration and beautiful production from Third Eye Blind's frontman Stephan Jenkins, this album is a worthy second shot from an unconventional pop star. I always have more respect for a singer who writes her own music and plays an instrument...Vanessa Carlton is the epitome of what a musician should be. My only hope is she doesn't get ushered into the corner that has become "POP/Top 40" music today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought the Harmonium CD the day it was released and just can't get enough of it. I love listening to the beautiful music and Vanessa's voice is so amazing. She is so talented. Her music just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait till she comes back to Atlanta to play. She turly is a great artist. All I know is as long as she's making music I will be listening.