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Happenstance:Rachael Yamagata

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Artist: Rachael Yamagata

Date Released: June 8, 2004

Label: RCA

Produced By:


  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
  14. Untitled


In an attempt to listen to something completely different than what I have been listening to lately, I picked up singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata’s first full length, Happenstance. The insanely gorgeous half Italian, half 3rd generation Japanese 26-year-old plays pop ballads accented by her sultry and delicate voice and jazzy piano technique. While most of this album is very radio-friendly (mainstream), the songs still remain deeply textured and respectable a la Norah Jones. Though slightly overproduced, the subtle instrumentation definitely is a plus for the album. My guess is that she is amazing live, and that may be the best medium for her. Definitely channeling the likes of recent pop-jazz singer-songwriters, Yamagata is also akin to the other songwriters of our generation including Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey and Damien Rice. The ex-Bumpus singer is worth a listen if you are into the listed artists, and Rachael… give me a call if you get a chance. Michael Ardaiolo

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