It was only a few short months ago that singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton graced our ears with her stunning Blue Pool EP: now she’s bounced back with her fifth studio album Liberman. As demonstrated earlier with the EP Carlton had adopted a more indie/folk feel and we were loving it; it will be interesting to hear how the album pans out.
Included on Liberman are the four tracks from the Blue Pool EP for some familiarity; Take It Easy is still as much as a captivating listen as before; the maturely delivered Blue Pool is still a stand out; and new single Operator and Nothing Where Something Used To Be have been revamped as studio recorded tracks as opposed to the previous versions being live recordings.
New to the mix is the piano-led Willows with its quirky melody and subtle beat: this is Vanessa at some of her finest. The folk side of her new sound shines with the dreamy Matter Of Time and its carried breezily with the finger picking of the acoustic guitar and Carlton’s harsh-yet-subtle vocal work. River is one of the most atmospheric songs on the record, mainly due to Vanessa’s dynamic vocals and the airiness of the arrangement itself.
Liberman is a dynamically different record for Vanessa Carlton and her new sound is definitely something to write home about. It is a little disappointing that the four tracks from the previous EP made up nearly half of the album though; fans may have been hoping for it to consist of more new material, even if two of them had different versions recorded. Nonetheless Vanessa Carlton’s sound has definitely matured over the years and Liberman is quite stunning.