Since the release of 1998's "Happier Girl," Orlando's Wellville has been slowly growing beyond the confines of that album's spare folk stylings. The result of this evolution shows in their remarkable self-titled second album. Wellville displays a wide range of tasty pop-rock influences and more complex production and arrangements than any previous release.
Singer Liz Larizza's velveteen vocals are sung over cheery Brit-pop, soaring guitar rock and even slinky R&B. Mike Maurice's guitar and Pete Ornstein's restrained keyboards add washes of atmosphere throughout, and Larizza's ability to write memorable, bittersweet pop songs shows no sign of slowing down. The band also redid four songs from "Happier Girl," transforming acoustic favorites like "Heaven Help Me" into proper rockers. Confident, complex and effortlessly catchy, Wellville shows the band pushing their folk-rock roots into a future that seems full of new sounds and possibilities.