Rachael Yamagata’s Dramatic “Tightrope Walker”

The husky singer’s new album is an entertaining romp.


Rachael Yamagata
Tightrope Walker
Frankenfish Records/Thirty Tigers

Courtesy of Frankenfish Records/Thirsty Tigers

With her husky, commanding voice, Rachael Yamagata could have been a torchy lounge chanteuse in the pre-rock’n’roll ’50s or a bluesy soul shouter in the late ’60s. On this fine fourth album, she throws subtlety to the winds and sounds like she’s having the time of her life, romping through a set of dramatic pop tunes designed for maximum entertainment. Highlights include “Nobody,” a scorching floor-shaker soaked in obsessive desire, the seductive earthy folk of “Easy Target,” and the rousing anthem “Money Fame Thunder,” which closes the album on an uplifting note. Yamagata’s savvy, efficiently constructed songs are commercial in the best possible sense, catchy and engaging, but consistently smart to boot. Enjoy!