The sophomore long-player from the multi-talented Nashville-based, N.Y.C.-raised pianist and singer/songwriter, All I Ever See in You Is Me is Jillette Johnson's boldest and most compelling collection of songs to date; a stripped-down yet emotionally rich feast of countrypolitan-tinged confessionals that find the sweet spot between balmy '70s FM pop and agile and arty 21st century indie Americana. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell), the 11-track set dials back some of the pageantry of her excellent 2013 debut in favor of a sparer approach that relies more heavily on her evocative lyrics, fleet fingers, and dulcet croon. The result is often something akin to an East Coast Lana Del Rey sans all of the Lynch-ian artifice. There's melodrama to be sure, especially on the languid, swoon-worthy opener "Bunny," which suggests Dolly Parton by way of Regina Spektor, but Johnson's thespian tendencies never overtake the songs themselves, due in large part to the elegant framework of the production. Recognizing the radio-friendly potential of Johnson's pure pop acumen, Cobb allows her songs the space they need to flex their considerable composition muscles. The classic rock underpinning that provides so much of All I Ever See in You Is Me's exterior works because, much like Sturgill Simpson's Sailor's Guide to Earth, it never feels like a gimmick; rather, it infuses cuts like "Flip a Coin" and the "Gypsy"-era Fleetwood Mac-inspired "Love Is Blind" with a sort of refined gravitas that feels fully earned. These are songs that feel both lived-in and fully charged, and that they go down so easy just makes it all the more satisfying.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger