Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart (A Record in Two Parts)

by Jacquelyn Lewis

Rachael Yamagata’s new album is achingly good and full of universal truths.

Listening to Rachael Yamagata’s new album will remind you of every emotionally draining breakup you’ve ever gone through, but don’t let that discourage you from checking out this achingly good record. The album is broken into two parts. The first, Elephants, moves at a slower pace, with many songs beginning quietly before building to lush climaxes. Teeth Sinking Into Heart is the flip side—all cynical lyrics and rockin’ music (you could call it the “anger phase”). Yamagata’s husky voice has a world-weary quality that lends itself perfectly to her stories of heartbreak, and her brutally honest, emotional lyrics (particularly on “What If I Leave” and “Duet”) are like a punch to the gut. You don’t have to be recently heartbroken to identify with this album. The truths that Yamagata sings of—the need for love, the inevitability of pain—are universal.

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