Be Not Nobody
by Vanessa Carlton, pop (2002)
A&M/Universal, ASIN B0000646TK

I swear, the next person who compares Vanessa Carlton to Tori Amos will get his butt kicked so bad he will never use a toilet bowl for the next two months at least. I bought Be Not Nobody, this young ex-ballerina's debut CD, because I'm told she's the new Tori Amos. After listening to her banal schoolgirl lyrics, I'd say she's the new Jewel rather than Tori Amos.

The tracks here are anemic, standard teenage anthems done by anyone from Michelle Branch to Lene Marlin to M2M. Here, repeating "important" words, say, "innocent", several times in a stanza is considered "deep" and "meaningful". Banal imageries for asinine topics like boyhood crushes or ennui run amok over uninspired tracks with little memorable hooks. The best track by far is the first single, A Thousand Miles, but Tori Amos' performing flatulence has deeper meaning than the entire CD by Vanessa Carlton. Heck, even Alanis sounds like the new Aristotle by comparison.

Maybe she's young, but until she displays some depths in her writings, if not music, Vanessa Carlton is just another pretty lass with a piano. If putting music to schoolgirl journal musings makes one Tori Amos, then I'm the new Muhammad of the Mountains.

Rating: 62

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