Vanessa Carlton | Liberman (Dine Alone)

cd vanessa-carltonI enjoy the keys and easy melodies, but would prefer to listen to them in yoga or piyo class than in my car.

 

 

I’ve lightly dabbled into Vanessa Carlton’s music since A Thousand Miles but never really committed to being a fan. This fifth studio album, Liberman, marks significant changes for Carlton—moving to Nashville (hey, neighbor!), marriage, and motherhood—so it’s logical that the album be calm and centering.

I enjoy the keys and easy melodies, but would prefer to listen to them in yoga or piyo class than in my car: It’s kind of a snooze. From the simple piano melodies with a hint of guitar here and there to the lyrics, it just doesn’t inspire me as much as her songs have before.

A slight saving grace for this album is “Operator.” “Blue Pool” breathes a little bit of energy into Liberman, as do the harmonies in “Matter of Time” and “Nothing Where Something Used to Be.” The latter details the revisiting of an old relationship and how, when you really think about it, there’s nothing there anymore. Those spaces in your life and your heart used to be filled with so much more, but now there’s “someone else to see through our battled plans.”

Admittedly, the last half of the album saves it from being a complete bore. The lyrical content contains so much angst at first, and then levels out with complete satisfaction of how the story of self-discovery ends. In life, we adventure, rebelling against everything we once knew, to uncover the true version of ourselves (that was once buried under all the muck) and reemerge as a new person ready to conquer everything: a little wiser and more self-aware than before. Liberman is kind of like that, too. C | Ashley White

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