Villagers, “Where Have You Been All My Life?”

Villagers-2016-WhereHaveYouBeenAllMyLife_cover_hi-resVillagers
Where Have You Been All My Life?
DOMINO
5/10

With Where Have You Been All My Life?, Dublin act Villagers refashion material from their previous three records into a uniform set, an approach that should sound familiar to anyone who’s been to a concert before. But this isn’t a concert taping, or even a “live” record, in any traditional sense of the term, even though the songs are perplexingly labelled as such. What they mean is that they recorded the songs together in one go, in one day, without overdubs or “studio trickery,” as they say—which: good on them, the recordings sound fantastic—but this common method of recording is scarcely labelled as such elsewhere and feels misleading here. While this may hardly seem worth splitting hairs over, the straightforward premise of this album leaves little else to be discussed. Fans of the band are sure to appreciate the harmony-rich retellings of older songs for what they are: pleasant, inoffensive, and perfectly benign.

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