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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
Top Customer Reviews
Pros: creative, beautiful, anti-law of diminishing marginal utility
Cons: if listener has been first contaminated by what is, according to the unattentive ear, deceptively 'similar' in mainstream... it may require cleansing of the mind, soul, ear.
The performances on this record are terrific all around, with a groove-heavy rhythm section and good, engaging arrangements in the jazz and rock veins. If anything, te weakness of this record is that it doesn't really vary its emotional approach. Everything is dark, heavy and menacing; it could use a little bit more lightness and sparseness -- as in the "hidden" 14th track (named as "Ode to..." in Rolling Stone), where Yamagata's airy singing and the lonely acoustic guitar provide some much-needed contrast to the dense melancholy that came before. However, the singular mood of Happenstance can also be a plus. Put it on when you're in a black, depressed kind of mood and it'll sound like it's expressing your emotions for you.
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.
Some of her songs sound like some hopeless romantic running her fingers on a piano keyboard. Her music seems melancholy at times, but when she picks up speed the music sounds like a galloping horse on a beach at midnight. She has a great range and can pretty much sing anything she pleases.
This album is a mix of soft and catchy songs, and her voice is a definite winner. There are many songs on it which she sings while playing the piano, which makes for sensual and haunting music. I love an artist who can write their own music, and as I searched her name out on the internet, her website has her journals and her writing is superb. It can make a fan of hers out of anyone who likes interesting and clever words. I am keeping my eye out on Yamagata and definitely purchasing all further music she will make. This cd is full of wonderful material that is easy to listen to, overall you couldn't ask for better music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rachael is wonderful. Can't wait to get more of her stuff.Published 9 months ago by Tara Solander-Lee
I was hoping for something more from her
I loved her on the sound track for Prime
Great music. Love her voice and love the piano. Reason Why is a killer song.Published 19 months ago by Deborah L. Traxinger
Rachael Yamagata was new to me 3-4 days ago, but now I'm wearing this album out and have bought two more. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Timothy Hallinan
Great sounds and excellent music, she is one of my favorites now, love listening to her music, excellent artist, would definitely buy more of her music.Published on November 20, 2013 by Jerry Sanchez
Rachael Yamagata is one of my favorite artists.
I have acquired her discography and all her albums are great.
I recommend Rachael Yamagata to all.