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Set for Life

The Villas

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Album Review

Certainly not your average working couple from Pennsylvania, the Villas (fronted by husband-and-wife singers, guitarists, and songwriters Bill Villa and Angie Villa) cook up 14 satisfying portions of smart, compulsively hooky power pop on their sophomore release, Set for Life. While their approach is certainly rooted in the jangle pop sounds of the 1980s, the Villas don't sound like a throwback so much as a continuation of the style, and their willingness to throw some potent hard rock overtones (the chugging "Exclusions") and country influences (a nice cover of Steve Earle's "More Than I Can Do") into the mix suggests an aural world-view that goes beyond the Rickenbacker. Their lyrics also display a maturity and hard-won wit, proving that you can rock and sound like a grownup at the same time (and that this is a good thing), while Angie's lead guitar work sidesteps six-string clichés and keeps both momentum and melody firmly on track. Set for Life proves Robert Pollard isn't the only 40-something pop visionary making fine music in the great American fly-over zone, and here the Villas rack up a higher batting average than Mister Guided By Voices has managed in a while.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Villas are a husband and wife pop duo whose self-released debut in April, 2000, Secrets, garnered enough praise and attention to land them a slot at L.A.'s International Pop Overthrow that same year. Both are vocalists and guitarists (Angel Ali Villa is on lead guitar, while providing...
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Set for Life, The Villas
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