Rabbits On The Run- Vanessa Carlton
I must confess, I am quite the fan of Vanessa Carlton. Something about the rolicking piano accompanied by her small, clear voice has always done it for me. This is her most recent album, released July 26, 2011, and it marks a major style change for Vanessa. The piano is still there, and her vivid imagery abounds, but the record as a whole has a notably darker, more gothic sound than the others. It was also recorded directly to tape, quite uncommon for this day and age. On into the song by song!
Carousel- The first single, and most upbeat of the CD, it tells the story of life with joyous piano licks and metaphors. A great opener to the album.
I Don't Want To Be A Bride- Slow and emotional, with a message that speaks volumes about girls today. Handclaps provide the percussion, and the only other backing instrument is a childrens choir until you get near the chorus, when a soft acoustic guitar and piano join the mix. Beautiful song.
London- One of the gentlest songs on the record, it features Vanessa's voice above a quiet piano and guitar. Midway it picks up with a few violins. At first appearing to tell the story of a city, it becomes evident in the second verse that it is in fact a love story.
Fairweather Friend- My personal favorite, it opens with the insightful lyrics "say you see through the folly, but you do it for the fame". The chorus is ethereal and smooth, the song as a whole depicts a failed romance with a "fairweather friend".
Hear the Bells- Haunting is the best word to describe this song. The chorus is deceptively simple, three chords played twice, and Hear the Bells is echoed as if from a ghost's mouth. A perfect halfway song.
Dear California- A standard parting song, it brings some life back to the album with guitar that manages to sound perky despite being in the minor key. A shaker and a snare behave as the drums, setting the backdrop for Vanessa thinking wistfully about a former lover that she has to leave.
Tall Tales For Spring- As bouncy as a spring day, Alice in Wonderland does spring to mind. Despite the verses exuding life, the chorus twists and slows while she proclaims "madness". Very unique.
Get Good- Beginning the final three ballads, a story of redemption is told lyrically with metaphor. The na na nas add more than you might think.
The Marching Line- Piano thuds as Vanessa recites lyrics. Not much to say about this one. It's pretty though.
In The End- Another confession. I've barely listened to this song, despite owing the CD for more than a year. Unique for the violin that clashes at the start, giving way to more ominous piano melody which renders it nearly impossible to hear her voice. More of an instrumental piece than the others, a lovely end to the record.