John McVey

Jigsaw

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AllMusic Review by

John McVey isn't going anywhere, so you might as well latch onto his introspective sound now before he grows more popular and less willing to illuminate his inner self. Here is a comforting set out of Utah Valley, an outtake from the expanding Rocky Mountain acoustic scene and a step toward the national contemporary folk plane. McVey is a formidable singer/songwriter who plainly acknowledges the world's tendency not to resemble fairy tales. Several tracks are an outward characterization of the poet's personality. "Distracted" appeared on a religious compilation album in 1999 but broadly tackles any dream and the obstacles that cloud your vision en route to finding it. While listening to the winning ballad "Fall for You," you may have to pop the CD out and check the label to be sure you aren't listening to Their Greatest Hits by the Eagles. "Incognito" rides with the guts of a biker gang member scanning the avenue for where he wants to make trouble next. "Already Broken" takes an up-tempo turn from the rest of the album, driving a Wallflowers-esque melody right to your brain. With an ethereal hook in the chorus, "Simple" fades the record into the starlight that seems to have inspired McVey's continual pleas. One question, John: Why would you banish your cover of "Tell Me Something Good" as a hidden track, other than the fact that it's a little too bluesy to fit the rest of Jigsaw? Answer? Perhaps because it's like finding a $20 bill in your pocket; like the rest of the record, it's a pleasant surprise.

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