Vista is David Wilcox's 13th album in 17 years (that's including a live one of old songs, a best-of, and a duo disc with his wife Nance Pettit of traditional poetry set to music), and he seems to have a pretty good idea by now of what he wants to accomplish. He recorded in his home studio, then took the results into a professional studio for some polishing. Like most folkies, he is accustomed to playing by himself with his acoustic guitar every night, and so only does a little ornamentation for his recordings -- another stringed instrument or two, a keyboard instrument, a discreet rhythm section, some background vocals -- without obscuring the solo effect. And like most singer/songwriters, his goal is to provide his own viewpoint on his personal experiences and his perceptions of the larger world. In a series of warmly sung, melodic folk-pop songs, therefore, he reflects on a man's love for his wife and child, assuring the one that he can help her through "The Hard Part" and the other that he can guide him to the "Great Big World." At the same time, as a Christian still impressed by the "Miracle" of Christ's birth, he must ponder the ways in which religion can lead to terrorism ("Good Man") and patriotism can lead to war ("Into One"). He has no real answers to these problems beyond his observations of them and his hope that they can be eased, which perhaps makes him just like the rest of us. In fact, that is his value as a songwriter and performer, that, as on the leadoff track, "Get On," he can express universal feelings about, in this case, the conflict between the heart and the head in deciding whether or not to act. Wilcox is going through the same things as his audience; his gift is to put those things into song.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann