Chicago-based singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata contrasted the
languid oneiric tone of her breathy vocals with
lush arrangements on
Happenstance (2004), de facto a collaboration with producer John Alagia and guitarist Kevin Salem, over a broad range
of styles, from the gracious Worn Me Down to the moody Quiet
and the vibrant Under My Skin. The
pop-jazz ballads Meet Me By the Water and I'll Find a Way
are a mixed blessing: impressive displays of the psychological power of her
voice, but hardly memorable per se.
The ballads dominate the first disc of
Elephants/ Teeth Sinking Into Heart (2008), including two really long
ones (Sunday Afternoon and Horizon), with the same mixed results,
while the second disc reveals a neurotic undercurrent.
Chesapeake (2011) was weakened by a somewhat lazy tone.
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