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Vanessa Carlton
Credit: Vanessa Carlton Photograph by Chris MacPherson

Be Not Nobody

C

In the wake of the teen-pop bust, labels are signing female singer-songwriters again. Oops, it’s still girls they want. Carlton, 21, doesn’t sound a day over 17 on her debut, Be Not Nobody, whether she’s making ”TRL” safe for sensitive pianists again or not. She’s almost got Tori’s intricate keyboard figures and edgy vocal style down, but there’ll be none of the famous Amos loopiness in these earnest self-help bromides. By the time Carlton incongruously covers the Stones’ ”Paint It Black,” you can safely predict her pink bedroom will go unvarnished.

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