Packaged like a present one would receive during the holidays, The Jigsaw Seen’s Gifted is more like a re-gift than something shiny and new. Largely full of nasally vocals and inconsistent performances, the disc wasn’t full of that holiday magic. Even though the first half of Gifted was mainly a flop, the romantic and charming “Couples Skate” glided in and provided a bit of a sparkle. After that delightful piece, the quartet destroys David Bowie’s “Sell Me A Coat,” which really put a sour spin on the disc. However, a warm folky sound follows with “Hag Of The Barren Trees,” a number that doesn’t sound like it belongs. The contrast between the elegant strings and Dennis Davison’s stuffy vocals makes one of the more pleasant cuts on Gifted.

The 10-song release is the band’s third album, and isn’t anything out of the ordinary. “The More You Change” brings a bouncy and innocent vibe to the disc, despite the aging lyrics. Directly after the youthful number, The Jigsaw Seen breaks into the short, haunting “Rise Of The Snowflake Children,” with manic strings and monotone spoken word-like vocals. The title-track begins to close out the album and hooks into one’s mind with the hypnotic keys and relatable lyrics. The closer, “Pretend It’s Christmas,” has some of the most truthful and heartfelt lyrics on Gifted and closed out the rocky release on a higher note than it started.

In A Word: Messy

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