'Heroes & Thieves' hones Nessa’s irresistible piano-pop.

After the release of her debut album, in 2002, New York reported that Vanessa Carlton went off birth control, telling a source, “The last thing I need is more estrogen. I am already too sensitive, as are my songs.” Rap-label man Irv Gotti co-produced it (along with song gurus Linda Perry and Stephan Jenkins), but her third disc isn’t a reinvention—it’s pure, effervescent Nessa. Packaged in big, bright doses of piano-pop, her expressions of puppy love are as irresistible as puppies themselves.

Vanessa Carlton

Heroes & Thieves