- Audio CD (June 8, 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: RCA Victor
- ASIN: B00022KF1A
- Average Customer Review: 133 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,391 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Happenstance the never can be
Main Entry: hap·pen·stance; Etymology: happen + circumstance: A circumstance especially that is due to chance. - Merriam Webster Dictionary
I apologize for insisting on writing my own bio, but I just can not be satisfied with anothers account of my psyche when even I dont understand it myself. Welcome to the world of this indecisive control freak hopeless romantic
Happenstance, produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews etc.), is a collection of songs inspired by my obsessions, often love related, but not always. Its about the battle between chance circumstances and the belief that everything happens for a reason. The title and the back cover addition of the never can be suggest that Im not really endorsing chance, but, in fact insisting that there must be a reason for repeated broken hearts perhaps a promise of a better situation, learning experience, the greater love etc. Its a circular argument and its merely a matter of happenstance that the title is what it is anyway. Without the hopefulness of reason, how could anyone weather the highs and lows of relationships and this delightful junk called love.
Look to the second album for a more cynical approach in which it all goes to hell and nothing makes sense and chance is winning
There is a combustible quality about newcomer Rachael Yamagata that for a lot of listeners will call to mind Fiona Apple: A first spin of Happenstance can make you itch with the thrill of discovery, but it also leaves behind the impression that its singer is vaguely dangerous; which is exactly what makes these songs so absorbing. "Everybody's talking how I can't be your love," she pouts in a melodically engineered stutter on opener "Be Be Your Love," one of several tracks pairing her with a piano that seems to take the brunt of the punishment for her wrecked relationships. The rest of the disc unravels with similar heat: When she growls in her full-time rasp that "(You've) worn me down/like a road/I did everything you told" on the very infectious indie-rock leaning "Worn Me Down," you believe her. But the less stormy numbers work as well, with "1963" coming off as flower-power pop grounded by a voice that knows better and "I Want You" wending its way through a fat, heartsick wallow to emerge someplace burnt in honesty. A late minute-long instrumental feels more tasteful than pretentious, adding to a monster of a debut already fueling hopes that happenstance--the term, not the album--will play a miniscule part in Yamagata's eventual output. --Tammy La GorceSee all Editorial Reviews
Top customer reviews
It's the copy protection baloney. Rachael - you're going to lose a lot of sales over this and I would refuse to recommend a copy protected version of any CD to anyone. Copy protection has so often been shown to disuade people from buying rather than to save any money on stolen music. One must also remember that stolen music (which I don't condone - just making a point) often introduces people to artists would might never otherwise have never had the chance. And most people who can afford to buy CD's will do so because we feel it constitutes a form of ownership that cannot otherwise be had, it supports those we love (such as Rachael), and it goes back to the old cassette tape issue of people enjoying the ability to create their own tapes/CD's comprised of a mosh of things they own. When we can't do that - we feel we've paid for greedy technology to have lessened our rights.
All said, I'm really disturbed by this. Enough so to rate this CD as low as I possibly can and hope that others will shout the message clearly as well until we're all heard and producers get off their paranoid kicks and sell us ownership of private use without restrictions.
My consumer vote, then, is a very adament "no".
One of the most commendable aspects of any artist in the music industry is the dual ability to both write and sing. Rachael's got it.
The comparisons to Fiona Apple are true, but only, IMO, in general harmonic style. In many ways, on several tracks, it's conveyed as nothing more than chords and progressions that are a bit more complex than I, IV, V, I.
She has a wonderful sense of melody as well. That kind of writer that can both hook you immediately with many songs and with others start you in neutral and drawn you in deeper with every listen.
This album contains everything from the painfully sweet lullaballed 'Quiet', to the `in-your-face` `here is how you made me feel` song 'Letter Read'.
Despite a lot of familier individual components, the composite is fresh, intelligent, and passionate.
The timbre of her voice should be singled by it's own merit. Every voice, good or bad, has it's own quality. That's how we know who's talking/singing. Rachael's is captivating.
The album itself is relatively mellow but far from a sleeper. I'd put it on to a romantic evening or one alone and filled with retrospect.
I hope to hear more from Rachael. Meantime I highly recommend this album and thank the artist who made it.
I guess I can see how she is compared to Fiona Apple or Norah Jones. But in all honesty, I just can't find the soul in this album. Her singing is soothing, but not beckoning or captivating. The melodies are sweet and comforting, but not very complex. But these things don't bother me, they're nice and I'm satisfied.. They're okay. The thing that bothers me the most about her songs are the lyrics. I think it's been noted before, that they're very predictable, and not very thoughtful. It's not poetic, and I don't want to say they sometimes are "crappy," but I just did. LIke "I feel like i'm lovin' you in 1963. flowers in my hair now." in 1963. I mean... it's meaningless. What does that have to do with anything? Maybe it's not supposed to mean much, but it gets pretty annoying after a while.
Anyway... She's good. But she's definitely no Fiona, Tori, or Norah. I just don't feel it.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved her on the sound track for Prime
I have acquired her discography and all her albums are great.
I recommend Rachael Yamagata to all.