Album: Rachael Yamagata, Elephants/Teeth Sinking into Heart (Warner Brothers)
Rachael Yamagata's second album comes as a double, the nine moody love songs of Elephants followed by a burst of five more brusquely energetic rock songs on Teeth Sinking into Heart.
It's perhaps just as well, for as tenderly beautiful as the first set is, confirming Yamagata as a sultry modern torch-singer in the vein of Cat Power, on its own it tends to present her as a one-trick pony of somewhat melancholy cast, its soft alliances of guitar, piano and tasteful string and woodwind underscoring her tremulous vocals in a way that almost cripples tracks like "What If I Leave" and "Sunday Afternoon" with tastefulness. This, however, disguises some ugly emotional truths, as she conveys the despair of a bereaved parent in "Little Life" ("Can you tell me why this little life goes so fast?"), and in the title track employs an extended metaphor about the painful memories accumulated in an elephantine memory: "How dare you send me that card?... You are forcing me to remember, when all I want is to forget you". The second disc offers a more astringent view, from her ruthless attitude towards her "Sidedish Friend" and the old flame fallen on hard times in "Accident", to the bitter warning that brings things to a close, "Don't fuck me in front of me".
Pick of the album: 'Elephants', 'Sidedish Friend', 'Accident'
Arts & Ents blogs
The episode begins with Finn (Cory Monteith) at college, partying and accidentally participating in ...
What a wonderful way to end this momentous series in the 50th year of Doctor Who. From the start of ...
Let's talk book blurbs, those quotes you get, usually from other writers, that are meant to entice y...
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.