Friday, October 24, 2008

Rachael Yamagata - Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart

Rachael Yamagata's new album is separated into 2 parts. Elephants shows Rachael's softer, emotional side: slower songs, more gentle vocals, prevalent piano and lyrics bringing forth melancholic feelings and saddening experiences. Teeth... seems to show just that: an aggressive reaction with electric guitars, upbeat rhythms and an expression of anger at times. This is exactly what I wanted from a new album. One third rock and roll and two thirds ballad-esque melodies. Rachael has a wonderful voice and it shines brightest when the sad peeks through. Sometimes she sounds sultry and sexy singing at a near whisper, but you can tell she's had some loss in her life - the liner notes mention a dedication in loving memory to a relative. Depression or just an acceptance of grief has inspired many artisits and musicians to create amazing art. To create something is a positive way to cope, and I am very thankful Rachael Yamagata lets us hear her voice and song. She moved me...again. Guests/friends include Ray Lamontagne, Mike Bloom (The Elected), Maria Taylor (Azure Ray), Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley,Conor Oberst) and James Valentine (Maroon 5).

- Joel Boyles

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