Obligatory Villagers

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Obligatory Villagers
Studio album by Nellie McKay
Released September 25, 2007
Recorded 2007
Genre Jazz, pop, rock
Length 31:35
33:38 (with online bonus track)
Label Hungry Mouse/Vanguard Records
Producer Nellie McKay
Nellie McKay chronology
Pretty Little Head
Obligatory Villagers
Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day

Obligatory Villagers is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Nellie McKay. It was released on September 25, 2007. The album is brief compared to both of her past releases, which both had total times of around an hour. However, the total time of Villagers is roughly equivalent to that of the individual discs on both of her double-disc releases. Bob Dorough appears as a guest vocalist on several tracks. Many of the musicians on the album reside in the Poconos, particularly the Delaware Water Gap area. Having been a COTA Cat, Nellie got to know the musicians that appear on this record. Nancy Reed, a voice teacher in Stroudsburg, sings with her on "Politan." Nellie McKay was Nancy Reed's first student.[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Mother of Pearl" - 2:10
  2. "Oversure" - 3:20
  3. "Gin Rummy" - 2:59
  4. "Livin'" - 0:24
  5. "Identity Theft" - 3:28
  6. "Galleon" - 3:22
  7. "Politan" - 4:18
  8. "Testify" - 5:41
  9. "Zombie" - 5:56
  10. "Doko Demo Doa" (Bonus Track in Japanese) (iTunes Store-only) - 2:05

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (A-) [3]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars [4]
Pitchfork Media (6.9/10) [5]

Critical response to the album was generally positive. Pitchfork Media and Allmusic both commented that the album was "difficult to understand", though they also agreed that McKay is a talented songwriter and arranger.


Chart (2007) Peak
Billboard Heatseekers 30