Rachael is a lady who has been around for quite some time, but is only now officially releasing her debut album here in the UK. It comes sufficiently hyped up, but can it live up to that hype? Well the answer is almost.
First things first. If you are one of those people still anxiously awaiting the next Fiona Apple album, then Happenstance will quite easily fill that gap for now, and that is exactly the kind of music fan that this colllection is targeted at. Tracks such as Letter Read and Meet Me By The Water sound so much like Fiona Apple that if you heard them on the radio unsolicited you would think it was Apple herself.
There is slightly more to Rachael than that, but again it is comparisons being made with other artists. She has the smokey echo's of Norah Jones coming through in places, and Wear Me Down sounds like U2 if they were fronted by a woman.
It seems a bit churlish to compare Rachael to a multitude of other artists, but as evidenced by the sticker on the cover, these comparisons are being used to draw potential new fans in. Whilst this is a classy collection of great (and sometimes excellent) songs, there is still the nagging feeling that Yamagata has yet to truly find a sound of her own. But then again, this fine collection will more than pass the time until she does.
Icon's View - 3 1/2 out of 5.