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Album Review

The Verve Pipe made their major-label debut under the direction of producer Jerry Harrison with Villains, recasting themselves in the inauspicious mold of a post-grunge act. On an initial listen, the album does little to distinguish itself from the masses, though patient revisiting reveals a band of more depth, with Brian Vander Ark's songwriting improving vastly over previous albums and more subtle aspects, like the tasteful organic keyboard arrangements, actually adding texture and dimension to the sound. The band seemed to acknowledge the misstep by re-recording (yet again) "The Freshmen" for single release and subsequent pressings, which ultimately earned them their first national hit.

Customer Reviews

The Freshman.

Okay, so I was obsessed with the song, The Freshmen. I realized that maybe since the song had potential, I could check out the rest of the album, but, they aren't quite "I-can't-stop-listening-to-this-album." I mean, I know they could be HUGE, because this band does have great talent. Try harder, 3 stars for the great effort and The Freshmen. :)

3 stars for 3 good songs

When I remember this album I think of The Freshman. But, don't foget to check out the album's namesake Villains and Photograph. Overall not a great album, but these 3 songs are definitely worth buying.

By far the best Verve Pipe...

I originally came to this disc for 'The Freshman'. But found so much more. 'Villians' 'Myself' are lyrically and musically stronger than a lot of their work up to this point. The sound is richer. From Donny to A.J., everyone is contributing on this set. Also there is more playfulness with the lyrics, and the construction of the songs. By far their best set.


Formed: 1992 in Lansing, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Primarily known for their post-grunge blockbuster hit "The Freshmen," the Verve Pipe formed in 1992 in Lansing, Michigan, where frontman Brian Vander Ark pieced his group together from the ashes of two local bands. He and his brother, bassist Brad Vander Ark, had previously played in Johnny with an Eye, while drummer Donny Brown and guitarist Brian Stout were veterans of Water 4 the Pool. Both bands had been local favorites throughout Michigan, which helped the newly formed Verve Pipe become a local...
Full Bio