ALL KILLER/NO FILLER Rachael Yamagata

The
songbird returns from exile with a double album.

 

BY HAL BIENSTOCK & RANDY HARWARD

 

When we last heard from Rachael Yamagata, her soulful,
confessional piano ballads had people calling her the heir to Carole King’s
throne. Her music was critically-acclaimed and popular, featured on a boatload
of TV shows ranging from ER to The O.C. to How I Met Your Mother.  Then
a funny thing happened:  Yamagata disappeared due to problems with
management and her record label.  Four
years later, she’s back with Rachael
Yamagata: A Record in Two Parts…Elephants and Teeth Sinking Into Hearts
, a
double album that shows off a new side of her personality. The Elephants album has the ballads fans
swooned over on her debut, while Teeth Sinking
Into Hearts
is the kind of driving guitar rock people have been waiting for
Liz Phair to make.

 

BLURT: Why
make a double album? Aren’t they usually full of filler?

 

I didn’t set out to do that. I’m not usually a fan of long
records or double discs. But as it took shape, there was a dark lushness and
orchestration for the ballads that were on other side of spectrum from what the
rock songs became. I didn’t want to break up the beautiful songs with crazy
rock songs, but I wanted to include them.

 

 

BLURT: The
two albums are different musically, but thematically similar – exploring
heartbreak and relationships. Are you normally the heartbreaker or the one who
gets her heart broken?

 

I have this terrible habit of staying in something much
longer than I should even when my instincts tell me it’s not right. In that
respect, I get my heart broken because I keep reaching for that happy ending.

 

 

BLURT: Your
songs have been used in a lot of movies and TV shows. Any shows you’re dying to
be on?

 

I’m hooked on Lost. I’ve already imagined half my songs on
different scenarios on Lost – like this song would be perfect when so and so
finds so and so. I want to be a character on that show.

 

 

BLURT: Now
that you’ve done piano ballads and guitar rock, what’s next?

 

Hip-hop, definitely. [HB]

 

 

***

 

Reading Into: Rachael Yamagata (her handwriting says she thinks we’re handsome)

 

 

At BLURT, we like to pretend we’re a lot of things:
astronauts, cowboys, porn stars, graphologists… Yes, dear reader, we want to
join the ranks of the seers who divine personalities and criminal tendencies
from signatures as much as we want to be the captain in a DVDA scene. And you
know what that means: We derived great sexual pleasure from examining* Rachael
Yamagata’s curvy chickenscratch.

 

 

*The following is at least 33% rooted in graphological fact
and contains 10% juice.

 

 

Handwriting sample: Rachael
BLURTs

 

 

  • Circular handwriting indicates an agreeable,
    easygoing nature. Square handwriting indicates practicality. Note that she uses
    a blend of block and circular letters. That means she’d totally go out with us.

 

 

  • The pressure she exerts while writing is
    indicative of the emotional intensity or stress behind a person’s behavior. The
    harder she pushes, the more intense or stressed she is; gentle pressure means
    she’s cool. That she wrote on her hand, and appears to have used multiple
    strokes on each letter-with moderate pressure-tells us she’s purring like a
    kitten, thinkin’ of BLURT.

 

 

 

  • On unlined paper, a right or forward slant says
    sensitivity, while a left or backward slant says the person is douche. Fairly
    straight writing can indicate a balanced frame or state of mind, so we know
    she’s not just wearin’ beer goggles-she likes us. [RH]

 

 

 

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