The Jigsaw Seen – Gifted (2012)

You can count on the Jigsaw Seen to deliver a stocking stuffed with ear candy during the holidays and, on this year’s offering Gifted, the Los Angeles band continues to scale new and exciting artistic heights.

Peppered with swaggering boogie rhythms, “The More You Change” struts and sparkles to a groovy glam pop finish, “Couples Skate” is a breezy instrumental, and the mesmerizing “Hag Of The Barren Trees” neatly combines stark folk figures with orchestral ornamentation.

A pounding Bo Diddley informed beat plays footsie with Pretty Things styled acid rock maneuvers on the bold and bewitching “Open Up The Box Pandora,” and a cover of David Bowie’s “Sell Me A Coat” ripples with cool and crunchy guitar licks.

Helmed by a showcase of gorgeous piano exercises, the melancholic “Christmas Ain’t For Christians (Anymore)” recalls prime Elton John, while the psychedelic-dusted “The Rise Of The Snowflake Children” aims to throw the listener into a trance, as the buzzing number basically consists of sustained feedback washing over a haunting croon.

Driven by a creepy crawly vibe, “Myth Of The Season” projects a Gothic feel, and then there’s the title track of the album that wiggles and waltzes to a dandy demonstration of jaunty piano flourishes and head-bobbing hooks.

Exploding with creativity and originality, Gifted (Vibro-phonic Recordings) proves the Jigsaw Seen sit at the peak of the pyramid as one of the greatest bands we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Imaginative songwriting, supported by tuneful vocals, hearty melodies and novel arrangements are produced in bundles throughout the excellent disc.

Crusaders of experimentation, the Jigsaw Seen stand as the missing link between power pop and progressive rock. The band just gets better and better with each passing record, and Gifted is easily their finest venture to date.

Ablaze with movement and balance, as well as a variety of moods ranging from sunny to sad, the album is saturated with the kind of daring deeds once employed by the Beatles, Love and the Beach Boys. But the Jigsaw Seen soar far above the imitation level and are highly unique in their own right.

Celebrate the season with Gifted and rejoice at the many sonic gifts you’ll encounter!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson