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Be Not Nobody

4 out of 5 stars 439 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 30, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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With her much-anticipated debut, ex-ballerina Vanessa Carlton more than makes good on the promise of her first single, "A Thousand Miles." Augmenting her classical training with a broad range of pop she soaked up playing New York City clubs and listening to classic rock in her father's car, Be Not Nobody finds the phenom decorating her fierce piano playing with orchestration, guitars, and percussion galore. "Prince" is sizzling and funky, while "Ordinary Day" displays a majestic grace and "Unsung" is a stomping blues-bar breakdown. Comparisons to Fiona Apple and Little Earthquakes-era Tori Amos (especially on the haunting "Sway" and "Wanted") are inevitable and justified. Yet Carlton sounds fresh, even on a menacing interpretation of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black." With the exception of the anemic ballad "Pretty Baby," this impressive debut makes a strong case that a new star has emerged. --Annie Zaleski
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B0000646TK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Vanessa Carlton may seem unsuspecting in a world where your ability to dance and the lightness of your hair defines you as a musician. Seated firmly behind her piano in her debut video "A Thousand Miles," Vanessa didn't impress me much (I viewed her as teen music marketing gone awry). I bought the album on impulse, not expecting to like it much. I have now completely worn out my first copy.
I am just so proud of this talented young woman for begging to be different from everyone else. She does what the pop industry is terrified of.. she's herself. No elaborate vocals or gyrating to an infectious beat. Beautiful, smooth, sultry and expressive melodies laced with a unique and elegant-sounding voice.
It's a very impressing combination.
The album is terrific from stop to finish. Here are the songs:
Ordinary Day: It has an ethereal and interesting message of spontaneity and chasing down dreams. It's upbeat and somewhat classical sounding. *****
Unsung: Written in the style of good old days rock, Vanessa powerfully belts out "well you decide and I abide and my song goes unsung." She expresses her feelings of inferiority in the relationship in this track. The vocals and strong backbeat make it an interesting contrast with the rest of the album. ****
A Thousand Miles: The keys employed and the melody combination are signs of sheer brilliance. The lyrics aren't spectacular, but the piano more than compensates. *****
Pretty Baby: It has a catchy bridge, but is simply not my thing. **
Rinse: My second favorite of the album. "She must rinse him away" because her feeling for the boy described in the song are unhealthy for the girl.
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By A Customer on May 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Vanessa Carlton's new album, Be Not Nobody, is nothing short of incredible. From the opening chords of "Ordinary Day" to the last trailing notes of "Twilight", Be Not Nobody is an album you won't be able to turn off.
Vanessa's amazing voice, stunning lyrics, and awesome piano playing make her seem much older than her 21 years. This album promises to make Vanessa a household name, but more than that, it plainly shows that she is more than just a young female singer-songwriter. She is a talented musician and that is evidenced by every note of every song on Be Not Nobody.
This album has ten original songs written by Vanessa and one cover. The ninth track on the album is an awesome cover of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". "Pretty Baby" is a total fan favorite and it's easy to see why. The melody and lyrics are so incredible! Other songs like "Unsung", "Sway", and "Paradise" promise to become favorites as well. "A Thousand Miles" is already a hit, having just recently reached the top ten on the Billboard Countdown. The next single, "Ordinary Day", is sure to do the same. Each of these songs speaks to the listener in a different way. Part of the beauty of this album is the way everyone can relate to it. My personal favorites are "Rinse" and "Twilight", but honestly, I would not be able to name a song that I didn't like. In each of the songs, the combination of lyrics and music is so awesome that it's impossible not to fall in love with this album.
Be Not Nobody is a breath of fresh air in a world that is bogged down by teeny-bopper, pre-packaged pop. The music is just so much more real. You should definitely buy this album, you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Audio CD
This sparkling, promising debut from Vanessa Carlton is a great listen from start to finish. All of the songs, with the except of the rocking cover of "Paint It Black," were written by Vanessa herself, who lends her vocals and piano to every track. She is accompanied by a band of talented musicians, and the orchestra arrangements are simply beautiful. Four stars to this stellar album.
The first track "Ordinary Day" begins with a girl and her piano. Very simple, very basic - and then as the song progresses, as the story develops, more instruments come in and help the tune build to a full sound. "Day" is one of many songs on the album that will make you look up at the night sky with renewed appreciation.
"Unsung" is one part rock, one part jazz. This track, with piano akin to Tori Amos or Fiona Apple, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from "Day." Already we hear that Vanessa has a range of song styles.
"A Thousand Miles," the first single, has become a hit in its own right. From the catchy chorus ("If I could fall / Into the sky / Do you think time / Would pass me by?") to the emotional refrain, the song will get you hooked. It flows well into the next song, "Pretty Baby," which is the most mainstream pop song on the album. "Pretty baby / Don't you leave me / I have been saving smiles for you." It is a nice romantic ballad without being too sugary sweet.
"Rinse" may very well be my favorite song on this album. It's louder, it's rougher. The story is not a happy one, reminding us that "...everything happens for reasons that she will never understand." It could be about an unhappy relationship, confining if not abusive. It's a dark melody.
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