The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact the Sundial

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Yamagata evolves and moves on with dual LP

The words love and music are thrown around so often these days. There are too many musicians that do not allow intention and action to cross paths.

There are too many anti-heroes involved in music that allow their egos and their pseudo-ambition to invade how the music is made and how the music comes across. Rachael Yamagata is the first hero to have graced the pop-culture soundscape in many years. Not since Fiona Apple’s ‘Tidal’ or Portisheads ‘Dummy’ has such a scrupulous use of lyrical intent been incorporated into music that not only complements but creates a rift where the vocal harmony ends and the music begins.

Yamagatas sophomore effort finds her separating herself from where she once was on her 2004 debut ‘Happenstance.’ Rather it finds her in the aftermath of a blood soaked journey of self-discovery and harsh resolution reasoning.’

‘Elephants’hellip;.Teeth Seeking Into Heart,’ released in early October, is a two part album that indulges in both halves of music’s homogenous whole. There are four key components to making musically insightful sounds and aural images mix together: harmony, melody, rhythm and lyric. Yamagata captures every single one of these characteristics and distributes them in a gothic cradle of artistry that is more than becoming to the theme of both sides of this one album.

The album starts out slow and steady, with a heart-wrenching lost-love anthem entitled ‘Elephants.’ This song that is laced with relative instrumentation and single note melodies that are hidden underneath the ambience of Yamagatas soulful vocal nuances and messages.

Lyrics like ‘So those of you falling in love/ keep it kind keep it good keep it right/ throw your self in the midst of danger/ but keep one eye open at night’ expose the first half of this album to be centered on the emotional tendencies that music and lyric can have on a piece of art.

Songs like ‘Duet’ and ‘What I Leave’ disclose’ the first half as being about classic pop/rock themes of romance and relationship. The ‘Elephants’ side of this album center mainly on orchestral harmony and gloomy melody that is littered with themes and overtones of love, the loss thereof and the struggle to redistribute that energy that is created by common situations such as these.

The ‘Teeth Sinking Into Heart’ side pays a uplifting debt to artists such as PJ Harvey and Cat Power. These songs flow through a spiral of ups and downs that revoke the resigning emotion of ‘Elephants.’ This side of the record is the resolve that was being denied in previous tracks.

There are some tempo changes, however the overall feel of the album stays the same. At points Yamagata drifts into the bubble gum pop motif’ of artists like Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch’ and gains strength through the inspirational verve of musical and lyrical transformation.

The overall effort put into this album can be felt throughout the evolution of the album. In the beginning the listener may get the feeling that this is a finalization of Yamagatas last album; sulking in the accepted defeat of who she once was. By the end of the album the listener feels the change that Yamagata has gone through . ‘Elephants’ says I miss you, but ‘Teeth Sinking Into Heart’ says goodbye, and certainly seems to mean it.

Five stars out of five.

More to Discover