Heroes and Thieves
Here at GoD, we review virtually everything that comes our way, there are gems and there are the polar opposite of gems (CHUCK). So when Vanessa Carlton‘s Heroes and Thieves was dropped in my lap to review, I jumped at the chance just because I love music (nothing to do with not having or wanting a television).
Today however I am rapt in anguish and dismay. See, Vanessa’s Heroes and Thieves, her third “released” album (traditionally a difficult moment in an artists career) came to me in a nice folksy/eclectic CD cover with a beautiful picture of her sultry form on it.
The ever lovely Vanessa Carlton has a silken and precise voice, she is clearly an accomplished musician as her catalog of appearances and accolades from industry types will attest. Piano she plays like a dream. Her previous albums have hits on them! The list of people involved in the production of her music is stellar! She dated Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins (who just happened to produce Heroes and Thieves).
But see, I am not 22, and — despite jibes to the contrary — I am not a girl. I am a road weary 36-year-old man beaten down by “the man” and tainted by, well, reading lots of Geeks of Doom movie reviews. So reviewing this album got harder and harder as I played through the tracks. As I plowed on through like a trooper, the heavy weight of just wanting to vomit began to choke my enthusiasm. The shear radio-popness of it began to grate on my nerves somewhat. I tried to channel my younger sister but all to no avail. I tried to channel my music engineering buddies who have such a clever and subjective ear to all things audio (“Nice reverb on the drums, lovely microphone set up on the piano” etc., etc.) No go. By track 8 I could bear it no more and was reaching for Rob Zombie in a vein attempt to re-balance my psyche.
So what can I say? This is a beautifully constructed bunch of beautiful songs sung beautifully with beautiful lyrics. (insert butterflies and purring kittens). Heroes and Thieves is nice. Nice nice nice. Really, how nasty can an album be with a guest vocal track by Stevie Nicks. (Respect)
Vanessa Carlton turned out to be incredibly nice. Too nice for me, but I sincerely wish her a long and hopefully grittier and angst ridden future.