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Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart
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Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart [Clean]
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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.
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`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. `Little Life' explodes with effervescent beauty at about the 2:15 point. That isn't to say that the song isn't beautiful before that, but it takes on another life. `Over and Over' soars with the use of the piano, and instrument that, in all its beauty, is the perfect vehicle for melancholy expressions. Rachel soaks into this fantastic ballad, creating a major standout on a record filled to the brim with standouts. It reminded me a lot of something off of Damien Rice's albums; something simple yet so rich with character.
`Duet' is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and the pairing of Yamagata and Lamontagne was pure genius; providing us something pure, genuine and sincere.
`What if I Leave' has a nice laid back feel to it, with soft vocals and simple musical accompaniment. `Horizon' isn't as long as `Sunday Afternoon', but it feels longer due to the fact that it isn't as stunning or as engaging. It's still a good song, and it possesses Rachel's beautiful delivery, but it just doesn't have the sparkle I was expecting. That said; `Brown Eyes' is my least favorite track on Disc 1. It just feels out of place for me, slightly distant and awkward.
The best track is the hidden track, `The Only Fault'. It's a brilliant composition of chilling reality and beautiful fantasy; exposing Rachel at her most impressive. Lyrically it is tragically beautiful, and the simple delivery is so much more complex than one might initially expect. It is much more difficult to remain engaging and poignant in sheer delicacy that it is to attempt to dazzle with large amounts of `talent'. Her voice brings to mind the delicate vocal stylings of Leslie Feist; gorgeous.
Disc 2 starts things off with the marvelous `Sidedish Friend'; a spunky and energetic number that is a breath of fresh air on the rather down-tempo album. Sadly, the rest of the Disc lacks the `full' robust flavor of the opening stunner. `Accident' tries, but it falls a little short. It has edge, but the edge lacks the `pop' that `Sidedish Friend' capitalized off of. It's a good song, but it isn't `great'. `Faster' incorporates a rockers heart, which is unexpected (in fact, Disc 2 was a little unexpected) and she pulls it off, even if her voice seems to fit the flow of Disc 1 much better. I give her major props for completely changing her style on this Disc, offering us a complete package so-to-speak. `Pause the Tragic Ending' slows things down again, with a little Latin flare to the backing musical arrangement (yes, it's there). The song is a tad forgettable, but while it's on you'll be intrigued. `Don't' closes the album in a way I'm not too comfortable with. It is nice, but a tad awkward, much like `Brown Eyes' was; just out of place.
In the end this is an extraordinary album, even if a few tracks fall short of the majority of the album. Every track is good, and all are worthy of your ears; and the standouts like `Duet', `The Only Fault'. `Little Life' and `Sidedish Friend' are some of the best songs you'll hear this decade.
I ordered the album from Turkey and waited almost three weeks for delivery, but it was worth the wait, and even more. Rachael Yamagata is simply amazing and deserves more and more attention.
Most recent customer reviews
the track 'elephants' is a masterpiece.
I am not sure it is official CD from the company...
In the middle of the CD, there is gap.