October 30, 2008

The first time I really looked forward to an album was when Rivers snapped out of his Ivy-League dream and recorded the Green Album. What a serious let-down that was, along with every following Weezer record. Sometimes I don’t even realize how much I had been anticipating a release until I’m hearing it for the first time. It was this way with Rachael Yamagata’s newest album “Elephants… Teeth Sinking into Heart.”

Four years after Happenstance, Rachael Yamagata is back, singing about her profound melancholy in the way only her smoky and sultry voice could do. While I liked nearly all of her first album, none of the tracks moved me more than the rest; it took time to develop favorites. With “Elephants…” though, the first track is so immediately engrossing that it feels significant. It feels like it marks an important event, like when Kanye rewrote “Hey Mama” after his mother died for the 2008 Grammy’s, or when you went to go see The Dark Knight opening weekend. “Elephants” feels so right and so well-timed that it’s hard to contain my satisfaction, similar to how Tina Fey’s Palin skits on SNL were so perfect. The difference between these events though, is that Yamagata’s lyrics and images obviously describe something ultimately more significant and personal than an awards show or a movie.  I don’t want to know what that is just yet.

Rachael Yamagata – Elephants (Demo Version)


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