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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Breaking Down Vanessa Carlton:

Tori Amos and Vanessa Carlton have a lot in common.  They're both Americans born and raised on the East Coast.  They both rely on the piano as their main instrument.  They both sing vaguely feminist and liberal songs.  But they also differ a lot.

Where Tori Amos has 202 songs, and a new album coming out this year, Vanessa only has 53.  And while Tori Amos has 72 duds, Vanessa only has 5.  But when it comes to the important stat, where any number of failures can be forgiven, Tori has 32 masterpieces whilst Vanessa only has 14.  Sorry, Vanessa.  Being careful about quality isn't as important as hitting it out the park.

That's still better than Bjork's total, with only 10 masterpieces.  So hey, at least Vanessa didn't get last place.

Vanessa Carlton's latest two albums have a sort of electronica feel, like her voice is being passed through a synthesizer box instead of really being her.  It makes the songs feel a lot more distant and contrived.  I preferred the real Vanessa singing real songs straight from her heart, like White Houses.  Like all musicians they just get worse with time.  The debut album usually isn't their best, that's usually somewhere in the middle, but the tail end is never any good.

Harmonium:               2 listenable, 5 actual music, 4 masterpiece
Heroes and Thieves:  2 listenable, 5 actual music, 4 masterpiece
Liberman:                  1 listenable, 8 actual music, 1 masterpiece
Be Not Nobody:                            7 actual music, 4 masterpiece
Rabbits on the Run:                      9 actual music, 1 masterpiece

In Vanessa's case, her debut album was her best, by a small margin.  Be Not Nobody wins by having zero duds, even though it ties in terms of masterpieces with her 2nd and 3rd albums.

I'm thinking of adding No Doubt into the mix, but at least for now the girl rock music playlist sorting is complete.  Out of 982 songs in total, 213 are 1 star, 452 are 2 star, and 318 are 3 star.

Approximately 1/3 of my girl rock collection are awarded highest honors.  That's interesting because similarly, around 1/3 of all the anime I've watched is in my top rankings.  Maybe it's just the number you naturally arrive at when seeking excellence.

I have a comparable top tier of anime theme songs, which numbers 427 songs.  It might be fun to have a death match between the top western rock songs with the top j-pops of the East, to see which musical tradition is really the best.  But it wouldn't be fair.  Anime songs inspire the nostalgia born of the anime, which gives it a huge advantage over free floating music connected to nothing.

Instead, I think I'll listen to the lord of the rings soundtrack next.  Time to start selecting songs for my star classical playlist. . .

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