Posted on: July 7, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Villebillies – S/T / 2006 Universal / 12 Tracks / / /

However punk or ska-influenced that this cover may be, what the Villebillies do on this self-titled album is rap. “Whiskey” is the first track on the disc, and it seems like the Villebillies are trying to blend together Bone Thugs N Harmony with Gnarls Barkley. “Whiskey” has a level of newness to it; despite listening to a lot of rap, I have not heard of an artist that approximates this style. The backing beat that opens up “Burnin Down The House” is particularly nondescript, with a sound that could conceivably be on a Britney or boy band track.

The rap style is equivalent to that present first on “Whiskey”. It seems to me as if Villebillies are trying to create a cohesive rap album, which is a commendable desire. However, a lot of individuals try to do this with rap albums, and end up cutting the same track ten or eleven times. “Grass Roots” is the next track on the disc, and it shows that the Villebillies can actually go forth and come up with something that is fundamentally different from anything else that has been on the disc up to that time. “Grass Roots” is a blend of Nappy Roots, Bubba Sparxxx, and *NSync. That means that the flow is still the rap that individuals know and love from the Villebilies, while the chorus is a little on the cheesy side. It might be good for the possibilities of the band getting a charted singles, but it seems a little off in the larger context of this disc.

The very rootsy, down south style of Villebillies is an interesting, rarely-heard style of rap. There are overtures to 311 as well as Outkast, and the band works pretty well throughout the entirety of the disc. Couple that with the fact that the vocals achieve a sound that is not quite unlike that of Twiztid, and one has a rap act that individuals can sit back, drink, and listen to until the sun goes down. The raps may not be about the harsh realities of life, but sometimes, individuals just have to have fun. Villebillies may not be able to ever come up with an album that is significantly different than this effort, but this album is the perfect disc for this point in their existence. If the band came around my neck of the woods, I would give them my time and my money; listen to this if you like fun, sunny rap that has a little edge to it.

Top Tracks: Grass Roots, Mr. Brown Bag

Rating: 7.2/10

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