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Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart (2 CD)

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Rachael Yamagata has hardly been idle since her acclaimed 2004 full-length debut, Happenstance, and its Adult Top 40 hit 'Worn Me Down.' So for her Warner Bros. premiere, the singer-songwriter-pianist with the sultry voice unveils a double disc set: Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart. Produced largely by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint), and also John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Happenstance), Elephants is darker and more vulnerable while the more guitar-driven Teeth Sinking Into Heart is grittier and more defiantly cynical. Together, they reveal the two sides of one of today's most entrancing artists.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Elephants
  2. What If I Leave
  3. Little Life
  4. Sunday Afternoon
  5. Elephants (instrumental)
  6. Duet
  7. Over And Over
  8. Brown Eyes
  9. Horizon

Disc: 2

  1. Sidedish Friend
  2. Accident
  3. Faster
  4. Pause The Tragic Ending
  5. Don't


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B001E1DJD4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nick VINE VOICE on October 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I was a big fan of Rachael Yamagata's first album, Happenstance - not only for the music that hit the Top 40, but the lyrics of an up and coming songstress. It's been 4 years since that, and I was curious to where the maturity would take her as an artist.

This is definitely not where I thought it would go. In an age of jaded pop artists, I couldn't blame her for going more mainstream by playing for a different market. However, Elephants is a journey into a mature, darker place within her heart, tingling with being jaded and aching to show a different side of her.

Elephants definitely warrants a second listen through, if not to appreciate what she's done: Instead of diverting herself to the mainstream, she's turned inward to become an artist and a musician. I get the feeling that I'll be listening to this more than Happenstance.

Musicians like Rachael Yamagata don't come across very often, and I can't wait to see where she goes next.
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Format: Audio CD
Rachael Yamagata is one of those artists it's okay to fall asleep to while listening to her music. Not because it's boring (unless you incorrectly equate "slow" with "boring"); her songwriting is comforting, careful and intimate - and her voice matches these qualities perfectly. In fact, her vocals are more consistent and maybe even more mature this time around. It's been four years since Happenstance (her first studio album) and her songwriting has seemed to find a balance between soft pop-rock (and I use all three terms very loosely) and even softer, richer lullabies (I'm thinking of "Meet Me By the Water" from Happenstance and "Over and Over" from Elephants...). That being said, Rachael is definitely not the artist to listen to while you're driving down the freeway (at least not in my 2000 Saturn that rattles); she was amazing live in Seattle (at a small venue off Madison called Chop Suey) and amazingly, she sounds just as personal and incredible with earbuds. Her melodies are just as beautiful, brilliant and inspiring as her first album and EPs, though perhaps not as experimental (as "Collide" or "Under My Skin"). I think the highlights are "Sidedish Friend", "What If I Leave", "Pause The Tragic Ending" and "Sunday Afternoon". Rachael could stop creating new music today and I would still think she contributed something truly unique and heartfelt to the musical canon, but of course, I hope she releases many, many more albums.
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Format: Audio CD
I waited a long time for this release, and it proves to be well worth the wait. Ms. Yamagata will obviously never "sell out" just to sell records. With beautifully soaring vocals and instrumental arrangements Rachael stays true to her roots. You have to respect a woman who writes ALL of her own songs. (I don't understand the parental advisory - I heard nothing even close to offensive.) True fans will not be disappointed and new ones will be pleasantly surprised by the beauty and sometimes heartbreaking honesty in her lyrics. I first thought "Oh boy, TWO discs? Why does she have to be so different?" But after listening, two discs makes sense, showing progression from sadness to see ya! I do look forward to the day she is a relationship and we get to hear the happy stuff! Buy it. If you get a chance to see her live- go! She is very gracious, funny and entertaining.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a brilliant piece of work. Yamagata's voice is the perfect sound to go with the wonderful music on this collection. Her lyrics put you right where the song is supposed to, and you can't help but put yourself in her shoes as she sings of things we have all gone through in relationships. Amazing. The "Duet" with Ray Lamontange is one of the best songs on the disc. Ray's voice is the best out there today, and to hear it coupled with her's is a true gift to fans of the lost art of the singer/songwriter. In today's manufactured garbage music that dominates the charts, it's good to know people like Rachel Yamagata and Ray LaMontange are still out there and work together to make amazing music. By this and her debut...you will NOT be sorry.
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I purchased the Japan edition, which includes all songs plus a bonus track on one CD. Rachel has a very unusual voice, which fits perfectly with the songs on this album. This has become one of my favorite CD's out of the several hundred that I own.
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This is a concept CD, where she divided it into separate discs. 1st disc is about the emotions of breaking up with someone. There are nine songs on this part(actually 10, there is a hidden song after the alleged last one "Horizon", after about 5 minutes of silence. The second disc is more about resurrection and taking back control. Beware the 4-letter words. A very emotional singer with a deep, dusky, alto voice. Despite the very angry words, the music will put you to sleep at night. Very emotional songs, be prepared. Very introspective also.
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One of the most impressive artists I've had the privilege of discovering recently, Rachel Yamagata has the ability to chill my bones while warming my heart; and she does it effortlessly. With a sound reminiscent of Fiona Apple (yes, the comparisons are justified), a haunting fragrance comparable to Poe (got to love that) and the soulfulness of Ray Lamontagne (who even duets with her on `Duet'!!!), Rachel Yamagata has her style, and her fan base, practically carved out for her already; but what makes Rachel so special is that she exceeds all expectations by making each and every track her own, never falling into copycat territory or resting easy on the coattails of those who paved the way for her. With the voice of an angel (a fallen angel, beings that the hint of smoke and whiskey rule out a heavenly hope) and the fearlessness needed to stand out in the industry, Rachel Yamagata is one of the best musical talents you've never heard of.

Now you have.

`Elephants' starts off the album with a bold and blunt outlook from this fragile looking creature. Her outer beauty is offset by her inner melancholy; both facets of her person elevating the other to create something truly beautiful to comprehend. Speaking of haunted past lives and blood-soaked jaws, Yamagata paints a vivid picture that one will not soon forget; and the instrumental version that appears in the center of the album only brings those memories back to life, full force. `Sunday Afternoon' may seem daunting at nearly ten minutes long, but don't be afraid; the track never wanes and is one of the best on the album. With a delicate introduction that leads way to a robust center, warming up to a fragile conclusion, `Sunday Afternoon' is a brilliant track that is the definition of a `full circle' or `complete' song.
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