“Wow! I know it's
only April, but I can't imagine hearing a better album this year!
You guys really nailed it. Great songs, mammoth production –
it sounds like you mean it. "Set For Life" is what us
pop and rock geeks live for. Can't wait for Nancy to hear this.
Fabulous vocal performances; love the guitar work! I'd have to say
it's the most enjoyable forty-five minutes and fifty-two seconds
I've spent since ... let's just say it wasn't listening to music.
You rock! You rule! Hope all is well in the Villa camp. Looking
forward to getting together soon, just to hang and have dinner.
Thanks so much for sending it along.” Richard
X. Heyman (NYC)
"... a pop rock masterpiece."
Neil Hever, Program Director, WDIY-FM (Bethlehem,
"Villas ... "Way To Go" ... I love this track!"
Ira Gordon, Program Director, KBAC (Santa
"... melodic, insanely catchy pop-rock."
Carrie Havranek, Lehigh Valley Magazine (Bethlehem, PA) Lehigh
" ... power pop, hemi-powered by
Geoff Gehman, The
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
" ... a firm commitment to songwriting and
a desire for honest expression a la Johnny and June Carter Cash."
Gerald Bergen, The
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
"A really neat rock album ... cool songs ... and an
original inventiveness that is steadfastly planted in the
present; a combination which bodes well for the future of this band."
Jamie O'Brien, Irish
Edition (Wyndmoor, PA)
"Wow! FAB! I LOVE the Villas CD! Sounds
like POP to me!"
Peter Noone, Herman's
Hermits (Santa Barbara, CA)
"It's a lovely CD, we spin it often."
Ed Stasium, producer: Ramones/Smithereens/Soul Asylum
Lisa Mychols, Lisa
Mychols Website (Long Beach, CA)
" ... fine, Beatles-based power pop."
Matt Smith, Metro (Philadelphia,
"The Villas have gotten a taste of the big time,
and they would like some more, thank you. John
Terlesky, The Morning
Call (Allentown, PA)
"Boasting hooks-a-plenty, The Villas new album, Set
For Life, has been garnering lots of airplay and critical kudos
thanks to a reliable melodic rock sound that’s immediately
engaging and instantly accessible. Set For Life is one of those
albums that grabs its listeners with only one hearing; it’s
catchy and snappy with concise choruses that are all but irresistible.
“Way to Go,” “Personal Property,” “Tell
Me Everything You Know,” “Exclusions” and “Toppers”
would sound right at home on the radio, since they sound like the
kind of songs that seem like they’ve been around forever.
In fact, if their well-deserved accolades continue, the title The
Villas have chosen for their album may indeed come true." Lee
Florida's Entertainment News & Views (Miami, FL)
"The Villas know how to rock it, in true
'Back in Black' fashion." Monica Ortwein, Pulse
Weekly (Allentown, PA)
"... a top notch pop rock album a
CD player wouldn't easily give up."
-George Wacker, The
Allentown Times (Allentown. PA)
"Set For Life finds The Villas serving up the rock
in much larger doses than on their debut ... 'Way To
Go' and 'Exclusions' are brimming with attitude and careening
riffs and I say hurray." John Borack, Amplifier
"It always is a sign of true craftsmanship
whenever the emotion and sentiment remain high even at
a lower volume. Bill and Angie are just as good rocking with their
electric guitars ("Way to Go," the album's terrific,
punchy opener, an affectionate nod to the Kingsmen hit, "Louie
Louie"), as they are strumming their acoustics on "Now
It Can Be Told" and "To Be In Love." Chris M. Junior, DIY
Reporter.com (Rahway, NJ)
"When the news came my way that Bill and Angie Villa
had finally put together the followup to their excellent debut,
Secrets, I got pretty excited. While I waited for it to arrive,
the inevitable second thoughts crept in. It had been three years.
Would they mess with success? Had they caught some new trend and
abandoned their wonderfully crafted pop formula? Could lightning
strike twice? Well, they're not the same group they were three years
ago. They're better. Sure, Bill Villa is still writing tight pop
nuggets filtered through a grown-up sensibility, Angie Villa is
still cranking out some of the sweetest solo guitar in pop music,
and the arrangements still make the best possible use of every second
of every tune, but as good as they always were, they do more than
exceed my expectations this time. They fulfill my hopes with an
album that puts them in my personal pop pantheon beside luminaries
like Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello and the Rubinoos. They are, in
fact, that good. This is one of those albums that puts a great big
smile on your face and sends you in search of your car keys so you
can crank up the stereo and entertain the world. You'll probably
want a convertible and a new home in a permanently sunny spot to
go with this one, but even a grey day is gonna seem like perfect
beach weather when this one is on." Shaun Dale, Cosmik
Debris (Seattle, WA,)
"There's not much doubt that "Set For Life"
will make my Best of the Year List, and it's only early
May. I loved "Secrets," but this one is even better. Cumulatively,
"Set For Life" and "Secrets" puts The Villas
up there with local icons of mine, Zen for Primates and Electric
Farm." Carlos Benjamin, The Blend, WDIY-FM
"Power-Pop & Mom." Paul Willistein,
"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 fourteen 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 1980's, 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 worldview that
goes beyond the Rickenbacker. Their lyrics also display a maturity
and hard-won wit that proves you can rock and sound like a grown-up
at the same time (and that this is a good thing), while Angie's
lead guitar work sidesteps six-string clichés while keeping
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." Mark Deming, All
Music Guide (Ann Arbor, MI)
"I have a standing argument with my good friend Lucas
that goes something like this – Me: “No one
should ever, and I DO mean never, cover a Steve Earle song on record.
Pay homage live or whatever, but don’t mess around with a
song defined by a man like that.” Then Bill and Angie Villa
go ahead and make a fool of me by popping off as subtle and moving
a Raspberries-esque rendition of “More Than I Can Do”
on their new pop opus Set For Life. Great melodies, good
songs, and an incredibly attractive couple making it all happen…I
quit." Kurt Hernon, BangSheet
|| "When listening to The
Villas, praise comes fairly easily. These two talented guitarist/vocalists
based in Allentown Pennsylvania make fun clean guitar-driven music.
Though much of Set For Life showcases Bill Villa's songwriting talents,
some of the highlights here come from elsewhere. His collaboration
with Dave Follweiler, "I'll Have You Know," provides a lot
of musical twists and turns in a very short time … "Personal
Property" allows bassist Dave Baun to show his stuff …
the poignantly graceful ballad "Now It Can Be Told" is a
Dave Follweiler composition … and Bill Villa's impressive cover
of the pretty Steve Earle tune "More Than I Can Do" is another
highlight. The other surprise gem here is the sweet "Center of
The Universe," where Angie Villa is given a chance to sing. It
made me want to hear more songs featuring Angie. All the songs are
remarkably pleasant ... they also incorporate elements of jazz (listen
to "Toppers"), folk rock ("To Be In Love"), alt-country
(the Earle cover) and harder rock (check out "Exclusions").
Set For Life is just under 46 minutes worth of fine ... and fun ...
melodic power pop from a very talented married duo (and some of their
equally talented friends). If you're into guitar-based retro-style
melodic pop, you can't go wrong with this new set from The Villas."
Gary Glauber, Fufkin.com
(foto by Zehra Karahoca)
Dave Baun (foto by Mark Hollis)
"The Villas latest effort, "Set For Life," shows
growth on every front, from more prominent, nuanced vocals,
to a bolder sound in general ... amplifying their prior disc's more
subtle charms." John Terlesky, The
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
"14 tightly executed songs with an 80's new wave vibe
with confidence and energy! Very well done!"
Ray Gianchetti, Kool
Kat Musik (Sewell, NJ)
"Set For Life leaves The Villas very solid 'Secrets'
debut in the dust! Fans of The Kennedys, The Humbugs, REM
cum early McGuinn solo material and an unusual take on Brill Building
styled songwriting will enjoy The Villas fine jangle and excellent
woven melodies. Very highly recommended." Bruce Brodeen, Not
Lame Recordings (Fort Collins, CO)
"The Villas new CD "Set for Life" is a high
quality treat with superb sound. Furthermore, the tunes
are there! If I were to nutshell what this reminds me of, I would
site "The Girl Of My Dreams" by Bram Tchaikovsky ... so
you can bet the whole lot here is a worthwhile listen! The Villas
just keep getting better and better so keep your ears tuned in to
this band." Jeremy Morris, Jam
Recordings (Portage, MI)
"Set For Life features tunes that straddle several
genres (folk, pop, rock) and demonstrates The Villas fine
musical, vocal, and production skills. Fans of (Lauren) Agnelli
and (Dave) Rave, Girls Say Yes, and the Heymans (Richard and Nancy)
should dig Set For Life." Eric Sorensen, Fufkin.com
"The Villas ... a young pop/rock band ... are a husband-and-wife
musical duo from Allentown PA. Both here and on their debut
Secrets, The Villas show themselves to be fine songwriters in the
power-pop style." Ben Varkentine, Ink
19 (Melbourne, FL)