Album Review: Happenstance by Rachel Yamagata

Album Name: Happenstance
Artist: Rachel Yamagata
Year/Label: 2005 / Independent

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by David Adair

The album title is a tad ironic when thinking about this 26-year-old American born of German/Italian parents, as music has been a natural part of her life for as long as golf clubs have been an extension of Tiger Woods’ anatomy. ‘Happenstance’ is a throbbing thirteen track foray into the mystical musical world of this immensely talented young madam. Rachel’s maturity and talent strike you cold in the instrumentally throbbing ‘Worn Me Down’, whereby feelings of burden and helplessness are conveyed via Tori Amos, spiked with bits of P.J. Harvey and KT Tunstall vocals. The tingling Katie Melua like ‘1983’ is a free spirited pop song to be proud of, as poetry and enthusiasm mingle together for a rare meeting in this modern world of ours.

Floating piano melodies slide along neatly with Rachel’s powerful yet soothing vocals to lift tracks like ‘Reasons Why’ and ‘Quiet’ into the ethereal category. Lyrically this album contains traces of wisdom, defiance and cynicism when this intelligent artist discovers that people and the world around her are not always to be trusted. ‘I’ll Find A Way’ showcases the perspicacity and emotion contained on this offering;

‘I used to think that anything I’d do wouldn’t matter at all anyway.
But now I find that when it comes to you I’m the winner of cards
I can’t play.’

This crisp and cosmopolitan songstress has certainly come to age, expressing a wide range of feelings and emotions without ever losing focus and direction.

Posted on May 22, 2005

Track Listing
1. Be Be Your Love
2. Letter Read
3. Worn Me Down
4. Paper Doll
5. I’ll Find A Way
6. 1963
7. Under My Skin
8. Meet Me By The Water
9. Even So
10. I Want You
11. Reason Why
12. Moments With Oliver
13. Quiet

[Rachel Yamagata Official Site]

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