Happy Accidents

Jamie Lawson

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Happy Accidents Review

by Neil Z. Yeung

Two years after the release of his self-titled major-label debut, English singer/songwriter Jamie Lawson returned with the more upbeat and lively Happy Accidents. On his second effort for Ed Sheeran's Gingerbread Man label, Lawson spreads his adult contemporary wings, adding much needed vigor and emotion to his heartfelt and earnest guitar-based sound. Happy Accidents benefits from producer Joe Chiccarelli's swelling atmospherics, as well as the vibrant backing of keyboardist/vocalist Roger Manning, Jr. (Jellyfish, Beck) and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, Fiona Apple). Horns -- provided by Sean Billings, David Moyer, and David Ralicke -- play a crucial part in the album's cheerful vibe, elevating the joyous single "Can't See Straight" -- co-written with Sheeran and Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid -- and highlights like "Don't Say You Don't If You Do," "Time on My Hands," and "Letter Never Sent." On the more intimate moments of the album, Lawson delivers typically touching ditties that should please fans of his earlier work. "The Last Spark" and "Miracle of Love" are custom-made for wedding first dances, while, on another end of the emotional spectrum, "Sing to the River" devastates as Lawson's ode to his late father. This mix of moods gives Happy Accidents a nice balance, making it one of the songwriter's more memorable works.

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