Elephants Rachael Yamagata (CD)
If there is such a thing as a grown-up's lullaby, Rachael Yamagata's is the ideal voice to soothe you to sleep. Her lyrics are hummed and whispered. Long instrumental passages add to the silkiness.
Yamagata is an American singer-songwriter and pianist of fourth-generation Japanese-American descent on her father's side and Italian-German ancestry on her mother's.
This multicultural background is clear in her music - an indie blend of jazz, rock, ethnic and new age. Her songs have featured on several films and TV shows, including ER, One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters and The O.C.
Her most recent album Elephants ... Teeth Sinking into Heart is divided into two CDs.
The first is quite moody. From the start of opening track Elephants, listeners enter a mystical world with goosebump-causing lyrics and brooding chords.
It ends with Duet, with Ray Lamontagne, which digs up the deepest human emotions.
The second disc is slightly lighter and each track has a different style.
Yamagata proves she has a strong creative talent. This is no easy listening collection; it's a pretty intense experience. But if you're willing to sink your teeth into it, the husky vocals will enchant you.