Go Betty Go

Nothing Is More

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    8
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An all-girl Latina quartet from L.A., Go Betty Go transcend gender and racial qualifiers to deliver one of the most purely enjoyable pop-punk releases of 2005. Using occasional Spanish lyrics and Los Lobos-style Mexican folk touches (the fingerpicked acoustic guitar on "No Hay Perdon," ex-Pogues James Fearnley's guest accordion on "The Pirate Song," etc.) to color the otherwise straightforward guitar pop tunes, the group focuses on the songs' melodic strengths instead of bowing to louder-and-faster punk orthodoxy. Most importantly, singer Nicolette Vilar has a terrific voice, both far more technically adept than the average punk singer (male or female) and emotionally in tune with the up-front, assertive lyrics. Gems like "I'm from L.A.," the best sideswipe at the city since the Go-Go's' "This Town," and the no-nonsense "Runaway" showcase Go Betty Go's already impressive strengths, but it's the more mature material like "No Hay Perdon" and the stirring, anthemic "Laugh Again" that suggests that better is still to come.

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