Making A Splash
Although sharing the same lush, spacious instrumentals and pop-perfect melodies as Vanessa Carlton’s last full-length studio album, Rabbits on the Run, Blue Pool manages to set itself apart as a separate, adventurous entity in Carlton’s discography with plentiful amounts of ethereal echo and haunting, wistful vocals.
“Take it Easy” is a solid opener, successfully setting the mood for what’s to come. The track is a rabbit hole of all-encompassing sound. Carlton’s vocals have never flowed so effortlessly, and everything in “Take it Easy” works tirelessly together to create a symphonic euphony, from the twinkling keyboard notes to the subtle guitar strums.
Blue Pool is the kind of EP that should be listened to in one sitting; it’s an increasingly rich and dreamy soundscape that seems to lull the listener into a trance. The impossibly whimsical title track is the strongest effort off of Blue Pool, the musical equivalent of wandering a secret garden; what flowers in full bloom and sprawling ivy would sound like.
Unfortunately, the track “Operator” brings us back down to Earth. It’s a classic-sounding ballad, not a notable departure from Carlton’s signature sound. This wouldn’t be a particularly negative thing, but after the journey that is Blue Pool, the no-frills piano chords and forlorn lyrics of “Operator” seem to give us quite a rude awakening and snap us out of the otherworldly feel that Blue Pool had graced us with before.
“Nothing Where Something Used to Be,” recorded along with “Operator” as a Live Living Room Session, takes us down a similar path. Although lyrically beautiful, with increasingly nostalgic and haunting vocals, the track gives us nothing different. It’s another reflective break-up ballad that teeters on the verge of being slightly despondent and self-pitying.
Although Blue Pool has it’s fair share of slow moments, tracks like “Take it Easy” and “Blue Pool” give us a taste of something refreshingly unique and different, which is hopefully an element we can see more of from Carlton on her upcoming full-length album, Liberman.