The Villas


by David Fufkin


This CD made its way to me through David Bash, the fine music critic and contributor to a myriad of publications including Amplifier, Goldmine, and Bucketfull of Brains. He’s very picky, and he likes this a lot. From the initial listen, I agreed that there are many reasons to like this, including the warm Elvis Costello/Richard X. Heyman-style vocals, the compact, understated arrangements ala Chris Stamey-era dB’s, and lushness of sounds ala Phil Seymour-era Dwight Twilley.

I “experienced” this recording. The experience was one of warmth and, yes, that overused word, love. The beautiful photos and the obvious love, chemistry and camaraderie between the couple that are The Villas burns through, allowing the recording to have presence. You want to spend time with the recording and bask in it for awhile. The inset “kissing” photo is special in its public celebration of the passion, pride and love for what they are doing and for each other. I “love[d]” that photo.

cover art

The Villas


(Think Tank)

The opening track “Just Like A Genius” is classic, laid-back Elvis Costello-like pop in a Richard X. Heyman style: understated delivery, casual, but pointed. “Pull You Back” continues with the EC feel, reminding me a a bit of tracks off the dB’s debut, which rocked so many people’s world in the late ‘70s. “Always Ending” is a nice ballad in an Eric Carmen solo/Kyle Vincent vein. “You’re Laughing” sounds a little like The Sinceros (when they are good) or Dwight Twilley.

In this modern day music business filled with manufactured bands with less soul than Milli Vanilli, this recording should break through with those who seek out melodic music. A really nice recording that brings you into the welcoming world of The Villas.

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

Black Milk Gives 'Em 'Hell'

// Sound Affects

"Much of If There's a Hell Below's themes relay anxieties buried deep, manifested as sound when they are unearthed.

READ the article