Harmonium (Vanessa Carlton album)

Infobox Album
Name = Harmonium
Type = studio
Artist = Vanessa Carlton

Released = October 21, 2004 (Japan)
November 9, 2004 (U.S.)
Recorded = Skywalker Sound, CA; The Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; Mourningwood Studio, South Park, SF
Genre = Piano pop, Piano Rock
Length = 43:15
Label = A&M
Producer = Stephan Jenkins
Reviews = * Allmusic rating|3|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:z72vad1kw8w5~T1 link]
* "Blender" rating|3|5 [http://www.blender.com/guide/reviews.aspx?id=2836 link]
* "Entertainment Weekly" (B−) [http://www.ew.com/ew/allabout/0,9930,104062_11_0_,00.html Nov. 12, 2004]
* "PopMatters" rating|5|10 [http://popmatters.com/music/reviews/c/carltonvanessa-harmonium.shtml Mar. 1, 2005]
* "Rolling Stone" rating|2|5 [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/6587676/harmonium Nov. 25, 2004]
* "Slant" rating|4|5 [http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=513 link]
* "Stylus" (C) [http://www.stylusmagazine.com/review.php?ID=2503 Nov. 11, 2004]
* "USA Today" rating|3|4 [http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/reviews/2004-11-08-listen-up_x.htm Nov. 8, 2004]
Last album = "Be Not Nobody"
This album = "Harmonium"
Next album = "Heroes & Thieves"
Misc = Singles
Name = Harmonium
Type = studio
single 1 = White Houses
single 1 date =
single 2 = Private Radio
single 2 date =
single 3 = Who's to Say
single 3 date =

"Harmonium" is the second album by American pop singer-pianist Vanessa Carlton, released by A&M Records in the United States on November 9, 2004 (see 2004 in music). Carlton co-wrote some of the album with Stephan Jenkins, her then-boyfriend and the lead singer of Third Eye Blind, who produced the album. "Harmonium" debuted outside the top twenty on the U.S. "Billboard" 200, and sales fell considerably short of those of Carlton's debut album, "Be Not Nobody" (2002). Its only single in the U.S., "White Houses", was not a top forty hit; two other singles, "Private Radio" and "Who's to Say", were released only in Asia. The commercial failure of the album, which Carlton attributed to poor promotion, led to her departure from A&M Records in mid-2005. She toured through the U.S. during 2004 and 2005.


Carlton said the album includes darker themes than those present on "Be Not Nobody".D'Angelo, Joe and Pak, SuChin. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1493000/20041025/carlton_vanessa.jhtml "Vanessa Carlton Recalls Her Days As A Naughty Ballerina"] . MTV News. October 25, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007.] She said she was past the "diary stage" of songwriting, in which "you're kind of mostly narcissistic and dealing with yourself", and that as one grows up they "start to absorb [the] environment in a different way"; she called the album a reflection of a "different" and "more womanly" perspective of the world, as opposed to the "innocent and girlish" quality of "Be Not Nobody".Moody, Nekesa Mumbi. [http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/12174475 "Pop Doesn't Define Vanessa Carlton"] . Associated Press. November 24, 2004. Retrieved February 13, 2007.] However, she has said that although "things get a bit heavier as you get older", she still has a "lightness of youth" and is "able to be as girlie in ways that I should be." [Ives, Brian and Bottomley, C. [http://www.vh1.com/artists/interview/1495066/12202004/carlton_vanessa.jhtml "Vanessa Carlton: Cast Your Fate To The Wind"] . VH1.com. December 20, 2004. Retrieved February 13, 2007.] She referred to the album as "bittersweet" rather than "just bitter" and stressed the importance of the lyrics on "Harmonium" compared to those on "Be Not Nobody", which she said was focused more on the music: "I want the lyric to resonate as much as the chord underneath it", she said. [Tranter, Nikki. [http://www.popmatters.com/music/interviews/carlton-vanessa-050124.shtml "New and Improved: A Chat with Vanessa Carlton"] . "PopMatters". January 24, 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2007.] She said that instead of an album with "one-two punch songs", she wanted to make an album that engaged people to the point that they want to listen to it repeatedly, and that they would learn something new each time. " [T] hose are the kind of albums I love and that I'll listen to for years and I'll want to listen to every single song on it", she said.Roberge, Nicole. [http://www.tunedinmusic.com/VanessaCarlton.htm "Vanessa Carlton Gets Harmonious"] . Tuned In Music. March 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2007.]

An October 2003 article in "Rolling Stone" magazine reported that "Private Radio" would likely be the album's lead single, and "San Francisco" the only love song. Carlton was quoted as saying there was "nothing piano recital-y" about the album, which she called "goth ... The Wicca in me has come out ... I've been able to kind of just merge the Wicca and the Eighties chick."Smith, Kerry L. [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/vanessacarlton/articles/story/5936383/carlton_goes_dark_on_new_lp "Carlton Goes Dark on New LP"] . "Rolling Stone". October 7, 2003. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] This provoked a skeptical response from MetaFilter users, one of whom wrote "this girl needs to buy a clue." [ [http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/29060 "Vanessa Carlton Goes Goth"] . MetaFilter. October 20, 2003. Retrieved February 11, 2007.] Carlton later wrote on her official internet messageboard that the article misrepresented what she was trying to say, and that her fans should ignore what is written in the press about the album until they own it.Carlton, Vanessa. [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=3763&view=next "the truth"] . VanessaCarlton.com. October 9, 2003. Retrieved September 16, 2006.]

*"White Houses" describes a young woman losing her virginity; "I wanted to write a song that everyone could relate to, about situations that everyone faces".Kenny, Hayley. [http://www.synthesis.net/music/story.php?type=band&id=2819 "From Pandemonium to Harmonium"] . "Synthesis". Retrieved August 2, 2006.]
*"Annie" is a song Carlton wrote after she met a girl suffering from leukemia while on tour.
*According to Carlton, "Private Radio" is "a jammin booty rockin' song" about insomnia. She had suffered from the condition for several years, but in October 2004, she said she "sleep [s] like a baby."
*She said "She Floats" contains "creepy sounding strings" and is about "the kind of the euphoria that someone gets when they're tortured by being dead".
*She has named "Who's to Say" as "one of the songs on the album I'm most proud of". She dedicated it to "anyone in a relationship that's unapproved of by their mother or government".Cinquemani, Sal. [http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/features/vanessacarlton.asp "Vanessa Carlton: A Pop Princess in Her Living Room"] . "Slant". June 14, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] She said she liked performing the song and that audiences at her shows connected with it.
*She has named "Afterglow" as a favorite of hers on the album; [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=7067 "Explanation of some Harmonium Songs (from Chicago)"] . October 23, 2004. Retrieved September 24, 2006.] it is about "letting go anchors of pain". [ [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=7490 "See Vanessa Live at VH1"] . Nessaholics.com Forums. December 15, 2004. Retrieved September 24, 2006.]

*"Papa", a solo vocal-and-piano piece, is not about her own father but a "different kind of daddy". [Lewis, Ben. [http://www.counterculture.co.uk/live-review/vanessa-carlton.html "Live Review - Vanessa Carlton"] . CounterCulture. February 17, 2003. Retrieved September 22, 2006.]
*The Fender Rhodes-driven "C'est la Vie" is an "angry" [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=7140 "11/3/2004: Joe's Pub - New York, NY (review)"] . Nessaholics.com Forums. November 3, 2004. Retrieved September 22, 2006.] song and the only one on the album not to include the piano, and Carlton has said it is about the single time she was "dumped" and her inability to speak French; she said that to her, the phrase "c'est la vie" meant "@#$% it", and that it helped her overcome emotional pain during the breakup. [D'Angelo, Joe. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1470102/02232003/guns_n_roses.jhtml "Guns N' Roses Songs, Chuck D's Call To Arms Highlight Rock The Vote Awards"] . MTV News. February 23, 2003. Retrieved September 22, 2006.] Randall, Lucy. [http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2005100504010&action=print "Carlton impresses sparse audience"] . "The Dartmouth". October 5, 2005. Retrieved September 30, 2006.]
*She wrote "San Francisco" in the city.
*"Half a Week Before the Winter" is a Goth-influenced "dark song" that Carlton intended as a metaphor for Charles Darwin's theory and the concept of "survival of the fittest": "Those beautiful animals [unicorns] again could be a symbol for so many things, they die and they shouldn't and I think it's also part my take on the music industry and how so many beautiful things that you do get eaten by the Vampires".Barker, Lynn. [http://www.teenmusic.com/d.asp?r=84064&c=1004 "Vanessa Carlton: Finding Harmony"] . TeenMusic. November 13, 2004. Retrieved September 21, 2006.]
*"The Wreckage", the album's closing hidden track, is about Carlton's boredom while driving and her desire to start car accidents.

She said "Morning Sting", a song that was dropped from the album, is about "emotions being so raw in the morning". She excluded from the album because although she felt it wasn't "crappy", she wanted "Harmonium" to contain a certain amount of songs. The album shares its name with a keyboard instrument, the harmonium, but Carlton said she adopted the word and made her own definition for it; she intended it as a portmanteau of the words ' and ' to define the approach to the recording of the album, which she described as "kind of an organized, chaotic approach where I wanted to maintain and preserve that wild abandon to creating."D., Spence. [http://uk.music.ign.com/articles/569/569935p1.html "Vanessa Carlton Interview"] . IGN.com. December 1, 2004. Retrieved February 13, 2007.]

Carlton considered working with "Be Not Nobody" producer and A&M Records president Ron Fair on the album but decided not to do so, although Fair is credited as the album's co-executive producer. She said that much of Fair's "own aesthetic [and] tastes" were present in the arrangements of the songs on "Be Not Nobody", in contrast to "Harmonium", where "the dominant taste and aesthetic is my own".Miserandino, Dominick A. [http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/vanessa_carlton_2004_09.html "Vanessa Carlton - Singer/Songwriter"] . TheCelebrityCafe.com. Retrieved September 21, 2006.] She cited the influence of live performances on "Harmonium", as opposed to the "studio gloss" present on "Be Not Nobody", in creating a feeling that is "a little bit rougher around the edges and a bit more comfortable in a raw form";Sculley, Alan. [http://www.vanessacarlton.info/articles/media/2004/vanessa-carlton-strips.html "Vanessa Carlton strips back studio gloss"] . "The Morning Call". October 20, 2004. Retrieved September 21, 2006.] according to her, the tracks on "Harmonium" feature a lot of breathing space so that listeners don't feel there is "a million things going on... There's nothing going on that shouldn't be", and consequently, it is very "easy on the ears", organic and simple. Ron Fair himself contrasted the two albums, comparing the "more formal" "Be Not Nobody" to "Carlton in an elegant party dress" and "Harmonium" to "her in Birkenstocks and jeans".Kipnis, Jill. "Carlton Strikes a Balance With Sophomore Set". "Billboard". pg. 13 and 73, November 13, 2004.] According to Carlton, because she had more knowledge of the process of recording an album and elements such as arrangements, she had more creative control over "Harmonium" than "Be Not Nobody". She called the album "so much more sonically personal to me" and "my taste exactly. It's exactly how I would arrange everything, as opposed to someone coming in and just dressing up the songs that I wrote."


Carlton and Jenkins met and began a relationship in mid-2002, when she and rock band Third Eye Blind, of which Jenkins is lead singer, were on tour together. After seeing Carlton perform live, Jenkins entered her dressing room and expressed interest in producing her music, and according to Carlton they "decided very quickly, that we had the same vision for the album". By January 2003, Carlton had written ten songs that she intended to include on the album. "You record more, you write more. I never put a stop to my writing process", she said. Recording of the album was originally scheduled to begin with producer Daniel Lanois after the conclusion of Carlton's 2003 European concert tour, which ended in February, and she wanted Jason Falkner and Nigel Godrich to co-produce the album;D'Angelo, Joe. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1459487/20030112/story.jhtml "Vanessa Carlton Aims For Solo Girl "Sgt. Pepper's"] . MTV News. January 12, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2006.] she said she believed collaborators would enable her to introduce into her music "tastes and sensibilities" to which she wouldn't normally be open. [Newman, Melinda. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1894394 "Carlton Prepping Tunes For Sophomore Album"] . "Billboard". May 23, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2006.] She originally envisioned the album as a "solo girl" version of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", explaining that it would involve choruses, flutes and trumpets, "and it's just real", she said. She also mentioned her desire "to establish my place with an album that's undeniably me".Zaleski, Annie. [http://www.clevescene.com/2004-10-20/music/vanessa-carlton-comes-clean/ "Vanessa Carlton Comes Clean"] . "Cleveland Scene". October 20, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007.]

Carlton began recording the album in June 2003 at Morningwood Studios (owned by Jenkins) in San Francisco, before moving to filmmaker George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California. During recording, Carlton cited Jeff Buckley, PJ Harvey as additional influences on the album: "Sonically I'd like to use the same approach ... If you're going to hear strings, you're going to hear them squeak", she explained. [Lynskey, Dorian. [http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=763 "I Was Getting Dirty!"] . "Blender". October 2003. Retrieved August 17, 2006.] She experimented with sounds reminiscent of the music of The Cure. Before recording began, Carlton and Jenkins conducted a series of "A-B-ing" tests to compare analog tape with Pro Tools (digital). Because they could not tell the difference, they used a mixing board that Carlton said was "similar to what a lot of the old [Led Zeppelin| [Led] Zeppelin] tracks were mixed on, so basically we were able to get a very warm, easy-to-listen-to mix where it didn't come across as 'icy' sounding". Several instruments were tracked using analog tape, but Pro Tools was used for most of them.Roeschlein, Shane. [http://www.themusicedge.com/moxie/news/girlsrock/vanessa-carlton-harmonium.shtml "Vanessa Carlton: Harmonium, beauty in the word"] . themusicedge.com. October 8, 2004. Retrieved February 13, 2007.] According to Carlton, Jenkins was "generous" with his knowledge as a producer and taught Carlton about the recording studio, helping her to "realize the way the song is enveloped is sometimes more important than the song in some ways." Carlton wrote each song with arrangements in mind and played it on the piano for Jenkins, who joined in on drums, and they began devising the arrangements. Recording was completed at The Record Plant in Los Angeles because, as Carlton put it, "When you're in the middle of a bunch of cows, the pace of things tends to slow down." The album, which took a year to record, was mixed at Olympic Studio in London, at Waystation Studio in Beverly Hills, California, and at South Beach Studios in Miami Beach, Florida by mixers including Mark "Spike" Stent and Tom Lord Alge. According to Carlton, her label "wasn't very happy" about the decisions she made during the making of the album.Corneau, Allison. [http://www.quchronicle.com/news/2005/04/06/Artsentertainment/Carlton.Maintains.Musical.Integrity.Despite.Label.Pressures.Of.Conformity-913429.shtml "Carlton maintains musical integrity despite label pressures of conformity"] . "Quinnipiac Chronicle". April 6, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.]

Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine suggested that Carlton co-write with Jenkins after Carlton played the album's first five songs for him. [ [http://www.vanessacarlton.com/bio/bio.htm "Bio"] . VanessaCarlton.com. Retrieved September 21, 2006.] Carlton said she felt trepidation about collaborating with Jenkins and that there were "moments when things got intense" between them, but because they had similar intentions for the album and Jenkins "deferred" to and was "sensitive" to her style of piano-playing and the direction in which she wanted to take the album, she "trusted him completely" and called it "a cool collaboration". Carlton credited Jenkins with helping her to withstand and protect herself from pressures the record label executives, who wanted to influence the recording process, placed on her. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1285/is_11_34/ai_n8586984/pg_1 "Vanessa Carlton"] . "Interview". December 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007.] Jenkins also played instruments and performed programming and mixing work on the album, and he recorded backing vocals with Carlton on several songs, including "She Floats", in which their vocals were edited to make it sound as if a forty-member choir were singing.

"White Houses" was the first song Carlton and Jenkins wrote together, and Lindsey Buckingham of the band Fleetwood Mac played acoustic guitar on the track after Jenkins met Buckingham, who was recording in the same building (The Record Plant, Los Angeles), and invited him to listen to the song. Carlton said the process of Buckingham writing and recording the riff "happened very fast, and turned out amazing". Several other guest musicians worked on the album. Pharrell of the production duo The Neptunes, who were working with Good Charlotte, contributed backing vocals to "Who's to Say". Two of the three drummers on the album were Abe Laboriel Jr., who played on "Be Not Nobody", and Bryan "Brain" Mantia ("She Floats"), formerly of the band Primus. Third Eye Blind guitarists Tony Fredianelli ("San Francisco") and Arion Salazar also appear, as does former Red Hot Chili Peppers member Jesse Tobias. Carlton said she wanted to record a duet with Fleetwood Mac lead singer Stevie Nicks but never got the chance; they did, however, collaborate on a song on Carlton's third album, "Heroes & Thieves" (2007). She said "there was nothing calculated about the collaborations [on the album] , nothing corporate".

A documentary, "Pleased to Meet You", highlighted the process of recording the album and is included on an enhanced CD. Carlton said she thought it would "shed a lot of light the direction that I am going in and where I come from", mentioning that its working title was "Pleased to Meet You: Vanessa Carlton, the New American Goth".

Critical reception

"Billboard" said "The album is full of beautiful, classical-leaning piano riffs and features more heartfelt lyrics than "Be Not Nobody".

Chart performance, promotion and dispute

Ron Fair noted that the approach taken to marketing Carlton was different from those for other pop singers such as Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and Ashlee Simpson, who he described as "prominent media and television stars [whose] music is an extension of their overall image", as opposed to Carlton, who he called "a singer/songwriter in the classic sense". He cited the significance of the success of "A Thousand Miles" (2002), Carlton's debut single, in determining how to promote the album. Chris Richards, a Borders Group music buyer, said that a follow-up record from an artist who had a "huge" hit debut single was a "challenge", but that the album "retains the same qualities of the first. She is one of the pure-hearted girls, very squeaky clean and parent-approved". MTV News wrote that because she was no longer grouped with fellow young female singer-songwriter-instrumentalists Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch, Carlton had a challenge "to balance her artistic credibility with a fanbase built upon "TRL" appeal." Carlton described herself as alternative to the popular mainstream hip hop and pop artists, such as Jessica Simpson and her sister, Ashlee.

According to Ron Fair, a key element in the promotion of the album was radio airplay for "White Houses", which was released to radio in late August 2004. Its airplay slowly increased afterwards, and it did not enter the U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100 until October, peaking at eighty-six in early November. [ [http://www.musicsquare.net/charts/song/606 "Vanessa Carlton - White Houses"] . MusicSquare. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] MTV censored, and later banned, the single's music video because of a lyric in the song that refers to sexual intercourse. Carlton said it was hypocritical for MTV because "All that is on MTV is sex. They are selling it all the time with sexy hip-hop videos with girls in their bras and panties doing their booty dance. But an eloquent statement about it from a female point of view...". [Shoebang, Eddie. [http://media.www.ecollegetimes.com/media/storage/paper991/news/2004/11/04/Sectionsaural/Vanessa.Carlton-2623132.shtml "Outspoken pianist/singer/songwriter may get censored by MTV, but won't censor herself"] . "The College Times". November 4, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007.]

"Harmonium" debuted at number thirty-three on the U.S. "Billboard" 200 with 36,000 copies sold in its first week, [Mar, Alex. [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6635767/eminems_encore_scores/2 "Eminem's "Encore" Scores"] . "Rolling Stone". November 17, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] before falling out of the top forty in its second. By the end of 2004 it had sold less than 108,000 copies in the U.S., and it remained on the chart for just seven non-consecutive weeks. ["Billboard". Issues dated from November 27, 2004 to January 22, 2005.] According to Nielsen SoundScan in February 2006, the album had sold 179,000 copies, [Hasty, Katie. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002074871 "Billboard Bits: Pearl Jam, Vanessa Carlton, Don Caballero"] . "Billboard". February 24, 2006. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] an amount that compared unfavorably with the platinum sales of Carlton's debut album "Be Not Nobody", which reached the top five in the U.S. Explaining Carlton's "predictable plunge" with "Harmonium", the "New York Daily News" indicated the release date was partially responsible for the album's underperformance, and emphasised the low radio play for "White Houses": "Every holiday season, some acts wind up with nothing but a lump of coal ... more importantly, radio found no hits on Carlton's sophomore CD". [Farber, Jim. "For Some, Sales Take a Holiday". "New York Daily News". December 28, 2004 [SPORTS FINAL Edition] . pg. 36.] "Slant" magazine, also attributing the album's low sales to the failure of "White Houses", alleged a lack of promotion by A&M Records: "Whether ["White Houses"] wasn't promoted adequately or audiences just didn't connect with the more mature, narrative style of the song, the label decided to let the album languish on store shelves with little support".

In early October, Carlton opened for alternative rock band The Calling on their short tour of Brazil, [ [http://www.thecallingband.com/journal_display.php?section=journal_200410.html "Journal"] . TheCallingBand.com. October 3 - October 11, 2004. Retrieved September 29, 2006.] and a performance she recorded for Sessions@AOL was aired over the internet.Cohen, Jonathan. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000662205 "Carlton finds harmony on sophomore CD"] . "Billboard". October 7, 2004. Retrieved September 19, 2006.] Later that month, Carlton travelled to Japan to promote the album there. [Carlton, Vanessa. [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=6910&view=next "back from japan"] . Nessaholics.com Forums. October 16, 2004. Retrieved September 29, 2006.] "Harmonium" was released on October 21 and peaked at number fifty-two on the Oricon album chart, where "Be Not Nobody" had reached the top twenty; it stayed on the chart for six weeks. [ [http://www.oricon.co.jp/artists/296001/ "Vanessa Carlton"] . Oricon. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] In Taiwan, "Harmonium" debuted at number ten on the international albums chart the same week that "Private Radio", which was released as a single there, reached the top ten on the singles chart. [ [http://top40-charts.com/song.php?sid=12274&sort=chartid&string=Vanessa "Private Radio"] . top40-charts.com. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] [Albums chart announced by International Community Radio Taipei (http://www.icrt.com.tw/en/tt20.php?cv=e); [http://www.5music.com.tw/CDTop.asp?top=6&pWeek=200447&sclass= "Top 20"] . Five Music. November 19 - November 25, 2004.] Another single from the album in East/Southeast Asia, "Who's to Say", was released in 2005 as the follow-up to "White Houses" in Indonesia, where it failed to reach the top forty ("White Houses" had peaked just outside the top twenty).

To support the album, Carlton embarked on a North American concert tour, which began on October 21 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and concluded on November 21 in Portland, Oregon; her opening act was pop rock band Low Millions. She said the tour would be "just me and the piano" and "totally stripped down, like an in-your-living room-type of feeling, that type of intimacy." She recorded a cover of the Kai Winding song "Time Is on My Side" (1963) for a Time Warner digital video recorders commercial, which also served as promotion for "Harmonium" and received heavy rotation on U.S. television during early 2005. [Cuprisin, Tim. [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=307358 "Time Warner's DVR is on your side!"] . "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel". February 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] The newspaper "Metroland" wrote, "we tend to think time is most definitely not on her side — how else to explain the near-universal apathy to the release of ["Harmonium"] ?". [ [http://www.metroland.net/back_issues/vol28_no12/noteworthy.html "Vanessa Carlton, Cary Brothers"] . "Metroland". March 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] "Harmonium" was not re-issued to include the song. Carlton was quoted in a March 2005 interview with "Fly Magazine" as saying it was "difficult" for someone like her, a singer-songwriter who played the piano, to "reach a lot of people", but that "depending on what happens with the second single, I think it will do really well. I hope the record goes gold and all those things." [Royer, Jeff. [http://www.flymagazine.net/archive_bands_article.cfm?id=5f39433e "The ballerina-turned-pop star is back with an eye-opening album"] . "Fly Magazine". March 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2007.]

A second tour, with Cary Brothers and Ari Hest as support acts for many of the shows, ran from March 9 (in Atlanta, Georgia) to April 30 (in Plattsburgh, New York). [http://www.nessaholics.com/tour.php "Tour Information"] . Nessaholics.com. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] In April and May 2005, songs from "Harmonium" were featured on the WB teen soap operas "Charmed" and "One Tree Hill", [Kretchmer, John D. (May 15, 2005). "Death Becomes Them" [episode of "Charmed"] . United States: The WB Television Network; Unknown (April 26, 2005). "The Lonesome Road" [episode of "One Tree Hill"] . United States: The WB Television Network.] and Carlton participated in an exclusive performance with Ryan Cabrera. [MusicMan. [http://www.popdirt.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=38399 "Vanessa Carlton And Ryan Cabrera Exclusive Concert"] . Popdirt.com. April 25, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] After the conclusion of the "Harmonium" tour, A&M Records sent Carlton into the recording studio because they didn't feel that there was a potential follow-up single on the album. During her studio time, in which she wrote songs with Linda Perry and The Matrix,Sclafani, Tony. [http://www.readexpress.com/read_freeride/2007/11/vanessa_carlton_learned_the_hard.php "Don't Call It a Comeback: Vanessa Carlton"] . "Express". November 20, 2007.] [ [http://www.mtv.com/bands/p/projects_time_forgot/news_feature_013105/ "The Projects That Time Forgot"] . MTV News. January 31, 2005.] she had what she called a "revelation" about leaving the label to find another record deal.Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina. [http://www.livedaily.com/news/13117.html "Live Review: Vanessa Carlton in Scottsdale, AZ"] . liveDaily. November 5, 2007.]

In May, Carlton wrote to her fans on her official website that because "shortsighted (nonmusical bastards)" at the label did not believe the album would sell well if given promotion, there would be no second single released in the U.S. " [I] worked my ass off promoting ["H"] "armonium" in the ways that [I] could control, but you can't sell records to someone in the middle of [Indiana| [I] ndiana] without a little help", she wrote. [ [http://forums.nessaholics.com/viewtopic.php?t=8149 "harmonium"] . VanessaCarlton.com. May 7, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] By the following month, Carlton had separated from A&M Records. Weeks before the announcement, "PopMatters" magazine wrote, "One has to wonder how long it will be before we hear the inevitable "the industry ate me up" stories from Vanessa Carlton. Perhaps when this record fails to outsell her debut and A&M drops her?". [Horan, Mark. [http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/c/carltonvanessa-harmonium.shtml "Vanessa Carlton - Harmonium"] . "PopMatters". March 1, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.] The Herald & Review said that Carlton " [became] another one of the new millennium’s poster children for what happens when music labels are taken over by accountants and artist development is abandoned." [Cain, Tim. [http://www.herald-review.com/blogs/timcain/?p=907 "Vanessa Carlton"] . The Herald & Review. November 8, 2007.] Carlton explained the situation in an interview with "Express" in 2007:

During summer 2005, Carlton supported rock singer Stevie Nicks on her Gold Dust U.S. tour. Nicks said she was glad to give Carlton the opportunity to perform in front of a large, caring and loving audience, particularly because the poor state of the music industry meant that artists such as her weren't "nurtured ... I really respect her. I'll be damned if I'll let her go by the wayside. She is one of the great ones. She won't quit." [ [http://bla.fleetwoodmac.net/index.php?page=index_v2&id=1066&c=11 "Stevie Nicks: Says she couldn't feel any luckier right now"] . "Grand Rapids Press". June 23, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2006.] In October Carlton embarked on solo dates in the U.S., including one at Dartmouth College, where "The Dartmouth" wrote that Carlton "sought sympathy not only as the girl suffering in her song but also as the artist disappointed with her apparent lack of popularity." Carlton rejoined Nicks on her ten-date tour of Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2006. [ [http://www.nicksfix.com/article_sony_bmg_nov2005.htm "Sony BMG"] . Sony BMG Music Entertainment. November 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2006; [http://www.fmlegacy.com/concertssnaustralia.html "The 2006 Stevie Shows"] . "The Fleetwood Mac Legacy". Retrieved August 2, 2006.]

Carlton said she was suffering from the lack of promotion the label gave to the album because of her non-conformist attitude, but that she felt she made the right decision with regards to gaining press attention and credibility that she wanted to maintain throughout her career so she could attract loyal fans. "That's really important to me", she said.

Track listing

;Standard edition
#"White Houses" (Carlton, Jenkins) – 3:45
#"Who's to Say" (Carlton, Jenkins) – 4:51
#"Annie" (Carlton, Jenkins) – 4:48
#"San Francisco" (Carlton) – 4:12
#"Afterglow" (Carlton) – 3:56
#"Private Radio" (Carlton, Jenkins) – 2:59
#"Half A Week Before The Winter" (Carlton) – 3:27
#"C'est la Vie" (Carlton) – 2:34
#"Papa" (Carlton) – 2:39
#"She Floats" (Carlton) – 5:15
#"The Wreckage" (Carlton) – 2:17 (hidden track)

;Bonus track (Japan):11. "Where the Streets Have No Name" (Bono, U2) – 5:37

;DVD (Japan)
#"Pleased to Meet You" – 24:42
#"White Houses" dance rehearsal – 3:34
#Duet – 1:24
#Extended footage – 8:19

Credits and personnel

*Vanessa Carlton – backing/background vocals (tracks 1–4, 8); piano (tracks 1–7, 9–11); keyboards (tracks 3 and 7); Fender Rhodes (track 8); choir (track 10)
*Stephan Jenkins – backing/background vocals (tracks 1–4, 8); percussion (tracks 1–2, 5); organ, electric guitar (track 4); programming, keyboards (track 6); drums (tracks 7–8, 10); mixing (tracks 9–10); choir (track 10)
*Mark "Spike" Stent (Olympic Studio, London) – mixing (tracks 1–2, 6)
*Arion Salazarbass (tracks 1–6, 8, 10); electric guitar (tracks 1–2, 6)
*Lindsey Buckinghamacoustic guitar (track 1)
*Jesse Tobias – electric guitar (tracks 1, 4–6); additional electric guitar (track 2); guitars (track 3); mandolin (track 5); guitar (track 10)
*Abe Laboriel Jr.drums (tracks 1–6)
*Ron Fair – strings arranger and conductor (tracks 1–2, 4–6, 10)
*Pharrell – background vocals (track 2)
*Louis Conte – percussion (track 2)
*Dave Way (Waystation Studio, Beverly Hills, California) – mixing (track 4)
*Lior Goldenberg – mixing assistant (track 4)
*Tony Fredianelli – electric guitar (track 4)
*Tom Lord Alge (South Beach Studios, Miami Beach, Florida) – mixing (tracks 5 and 7)
*Fernio Hernandez – mixing assistant (tracks 5 and 7)
*Sean Beresford – programming (track 6); mixing (track 11)
*Jerry Hey – trumpet (track 7)
*Gayle Levant – harp (track 7)
*Jason Carmer – mixing (track 8)
*Jun Ishizeki – mixing (tracks 9–10)
*Brain – drums (track 10)
*Endre Granat, Bruce Dukov, Natalie Leggett, Charlie Bisharat, Jackie Brand, Julie Gigante, Robin Olson, Mario DeLeon, Alan Grunfeld, Josefina Vergara, Roberto Cani, Phillip Levy, Songa Lee, Sara Parkins, Lily Ho Chen, Sid Page, Tammy Hatwan, Armen Garabedian, Sarah Thornblade, Berj Garabedian, Anatoly Rosinsky, Eun-Mee Ahn, Tiffany Hue, Joel Derouin, Franklyn D'Antonio – violin
*Brian Dembow, Simon Oswell, Vicki Miskolczy, Marlow Fisher, Sam Formicola, Danny Seidenberg, Matt Funes, Roland Kato, Kazi Pitelka – viola
*Steve Erdody, David Low, Cecilia Tsan, Larry Corbett, Suzie Katayama, Armen Ksajikian – cello
*Nico Abondolo, Mike Valerio, Oscar Hidalgo – additional bass
*Gerry Rotella – flute
*Tom Boyd – oboe
*Emily Bernstein – clarinet
*Producer: Stephan Jenkins
*Executive producers: Vanessa Carlton, Ron Fair
*Engineer: Sean Beresford
*Additional engineering: Jun Ishizeki, Lior Goldenberg, Tony Espinoza
*Strings recording: Frank Wolf, Tal Herzberg
*A&R: Ron Fair
*Assistant engineers: Judy Kirschner, Dann Thompson (Skywalker Sound); Jun Ishizeki (The Record Plant); Scott Brannan (Mourningwood Studio)
*Art direction: Vanessa Carlton, Drew FitzGerald
*Illustrations: Drew FitzGerald
*Font designer: Vanessa Carlton
*Hair: Sarra 'Na
*Makeup: Heather Currie
*Styling: Arianna Tunney and Alyssa Leal
*Photography: Sheryl Nields
*Management: Arthur Spivak, Stuart Sobol and Deborah Klein
*Legal representation: Tim Mandelbaum




*Unknown (2004). In "Harmonium" [CD liner notes] . United States: A&M Records.

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