This is the fourth disc by this Los Angeles based alt-country/Americana/Punk singer-songwriter, and her songs and their delivery seem to take on more texture. She has a distinctive voice that seems to bore into you and get to the heart with her message. It is part rasp, part pleading, part sandpapery, always direct and opening doors you might not want opened, yet need to have opened to get at the deeper truths. She wrote all twelve of the songs and perhaps because she is a part of the songs is the reason she can sing with such conviction. Her band is very tight and accompanies her, gives her room to soar, or fall, and yet is always supportive of the song. Kevin Halland on electric guitar and banjo, Sean Caffey on pedal steel, and Erik Colvin on Hammond and Wurlitzer shape the textures; while Dawn Fintor on bass and Andrew Gerfers on drums provide the rhythm and underlying.
Villalobos's songs are not always the easiest to listen to as she deals a lot with the side of the life that isn't always happy and bubbly. There are songs of being mortified, and discussions of suicide, and pain, wracking emotional pain that has the ability to shatter the dreams. The images are dark and twisted around tight in coils that wind in on themselves leaving little room to breathe. This pain and torment is just as much a part of life as the joy and happiness that can be found in things. Her songs don't always show the ability to take the rough parts and make the best of them, to make them work for growth isn't on display on this disk. It is a special ability to look into the dark and see it for what it is, accept it for what it is that is here, and this songwriter definitely has the ability to use words to paint vivid pictures.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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