Rachael Yamagata, Elephants... Teeth Sinking into Heart (Warner Brothers, 2008)

Rachael Yamagata is a singer, pianist, and guitarist from Virginia. Her second full-length album, titled Elephants... Teeth Sinking into Heart, is a two-part album consisting of a normal length CD and a five song mini CD. Her choice of how to present the album is a bit puzzling, though. For one thing, both parts could have fit on one disc. Also, the most inspired music is on the shorter of the two discs.

All the songs on the first disc are mellow and moody. The pace never really changes, which gets quite frustrating. Only the song "Duet," on which Yamagata shares the vocals with Ray LaMontaigne, grabbed my attention. By contrast, the mini CD rocks. Yamagata's husky voice is naturally sexy, and she works it to great effect on the second CD. The first three songs -- "Sidedish Friend," "Accident," and especially the angry rave-up "Faster," are the best songs on either part of the album.

All told, though, Elephants... Teeth Sinking into Heart lacks the consistency to hold up as a whole. Rachael Yamagata has talent, but like a few other performers I've reviewed she doesn't seem to appreciate that less is sometimes more. Perhaps if she combined the best songs from the first disc with the five from the second and rearranged the order for some variety, she could have made a more effective album.

Overall grade: C+

reviewed by Scott

for the video of the song "Faster," click here.

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