Paula Cole wanted to produce her debut 14 track opus herself, but was "led by the hand" of her record company toward quietly unsung genius Kevin Killen. Harbinger opens with the remorseful yet poppy "Happy Home" and the acoustic breeze of "I Am So Ordinary." Cole is strong melodically and vocally, soaring high and low. She also plays it correctly by producing her most commercially minded work first before diversifying. Signs of what's to come are evident on Kate Bush-like "Watch the Woman's Hands," "Dear Gertrude," and "She Can't Feel Anything Anymore." More upbeat is the driving "Saturn Girl," and her backing band is sharp on "Chairoscuro." "Bethlehem" laments Cole's hatred of her small town upbringing while "Garden of Eden" and "The Ladder" echo her spiritual interest.
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AllMusic Review by Kelvin Hayes