Wednesday, June 13, 2012

36 Songs, 36 Days (2012 Edition), Day Eighteen: Answering The Door by Rachel Yamagata

Coming soon to a CW series near you!
It's a song by television show soundbed perennial Rachel Yamagata!

For those of you thinking I'm joking, you should check out her Wiki page, which lists a seemingly endless stream of credits for her songs appearing on a number of prime-time soaps and comedies. Hell, I think her work has appeared on every single Pretty White Kids show the CW has ever produced at one time or another.

And it's not hard to figure out why. Yamagata has one of those lush, sexy voices that sounds perfect under Pretty White Kids angsting over their love lives. Add that she's this hot part Asian chickie (who doesn't look too Asian for marketing purposes) who plays piano like Tori Amos only, you know, not so confrontational or scary....and you have the perfect voice for your soap opera designed to sell twenty-somethings iPads and sneakers and other essentials for their shallow lives.

Now granted, this list I referenced stopped at 2010, so I don't know if this song got picked up to soundbed an episode of Gossip Girl or something, but if it hasn't, I'm surprised it never did...because this is tailor made to be one of those songs. It's about not wanting to be the fall-back girl for an ex in an abusive relationship, and having the courage to say, 'No, I'm not going to heal these wounds, you have to find that comfort on your own.' Yamagata literalizes this viewpoint by making it a scenario where that ex is right outside her door, asking for help....and she refuses him. She is able to verbalize the ambiguous feelings going through her head--there's still a deep desire to help him, to be with him, stated right at the beginning--but she knows this simple act of refusing to let him back in is for the best. But even that is done with slight selfishness, because 'she's leaving inside even more.'

I'm pretty sure Ms. Yamagata doesn't write songs like this to get wide media play; she seems to have a very rare joy in performing that has led her to play on tracks for a wide array of artists...and it's not like she's capitalizing on it. I think it might just be a case of the music she wanted to play lining up with a particular aspect of the pop culture zeitgeist that has given her this odd position right now.

But hey...the song's pretty, even if the singer's background makes it hard for me to get the Caucasian Wankery Network house style out of my mind.

To my surprise, I can find no related video for this.  Hopefully I will find something fun for the next song.

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