In the past, Vanessa Carlton had a very distinct sound with strong vocals over pop piano playing but on her new album, Love Is An Art, Vanessa has matured. New songs like “Future Plan,” “Back To Life” and “The Only Way To Love” could have been on any of her previous albums but with a new-found wisdom. My favorite track “Salesman” is the track that, in my gay opinion, brilliantly bridges Vanessa’s past and future as her rocking vocals reverb over a guitar beat and wind machine.
Love Is An Art revisits the past while masterfully flirting with new sounds and styles. On a few of the songs (“I Know You Don’t Mean It,” “Patience” and “Miner’s Canary”) her piano tells the story while her vocals float upon the keys. However, the main focus has always been on Vanessa’s songwriting but this time the tone is more brooding and dark. “Companion Star” is a perfect example with it’s haunting self-reflection over a dreamlike organ. “I Can’t Stay The Same” has Fleetwood Mac-esque lyrics with ethereal altered vocals over a thumping driving beat. While the self-titled song, “Love Is An Art,” sounds like a futuristic love song on a satellite…it makes me believe in rainstorms in space.
Love is an art, and so is this album.