Record Review: The Villains

The Villains
Atlanta, GA

(Toucan Cove/Universal Records)

“Commercial pop/rock/country to satisfy any mood”

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Coming off the success of their 2010 debut album Just Another Saturday Night, The Villains return with their sophomore release, Velocity. Produced by Stan Lynch (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Don Henley) and Billy Chapin (Backstreet Boys, Edwin McCain) and mixed by industry veteran John Kurzweg (Jewel, Creed), the 12 new songs on Velocity mark the tremendous growth of the band in the last year and a half.

Upon first listen, one quickly picks up on the fact that these cats know how to play. The songs are polished – maybe a bit too polished – and crawling with catchy hooks and impeccable harmonies. Every song on its own is a single. Collectively, however, it’s slightly confusing. Is this a rock album full of commercial ditties, or a classic country album sprinkled with all the heartache and humor found in modern country’s top songs?

One thing is evident, though – it feels like they love every minute of every song. The first track, “Cadillac,” is a straight-up pop-rock number, upbeat and hooky with lush harmonies (found everywhere on this album). The next song, “Rainy Day Girl” (which many stations are now spinning), is a little more mellow yet again lush with harmonies and hooks. Singer/songwriter Jimmy James Schmitt’s gritty country twang on tracks like “I’ve Got a Feeling” is raw and emotional and quite brilliant.

While the album is schizophrenic, style-wise, each song stands on its own merit as worthy of a listen. The Villains know how to write and look forward to sharing with their fans what they do best…playing live and continuing what they started just a short time ago. Velocity indeed!

Produced by Stan Lynch and Billy Chapin

Mixed by John Kurzweg

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