Joy Williams – Venus Review

Ever have one of those days when it seems like nothing is going right? It could be as simple as you forgot your phone at home or it could be more traumatic like a medical emergency.

Shortly after I began college, I had a few of those days. Both types, because I know you are curious. ;)

When I had those days, I would typically turn to music for relief. Specifically this song:

It was a reminder for me to embrace the good and bad in each day no matter what. We get one chance at life and we shouldn't squander it away on things we will regret later. 

It also made me realize that it was okay to feel. All of the things. So many times we are told to toughen up and be strong. Why cry over spilled milk? But the truth of the matter is, if that's what you feel, then feel it! Don't worry about what other people think about you. It's your life!

All of this leads me to … Joy Williams' new album Venus coming out on June 30th!

With such a close connection to her older music, when I received the opportunity from One2One Network to review Venus, I knew I wanted to! Impatiently I watched my inbox for the notification that I had been accepted, and immediately, when I was, I downloaded the album. "What's in store for me?" I wondered. Would her music, as a non-Christian artist still hold the weight and beauty of her music as a Christian artist?

Joy Williams began working on her newest album Venus in June 2013, a few days before her son's first birthday. She wanted to make something completely unique that would bring together all that she had learned during her time in the music profession. Her goal was to use the album to branch out and create, in a new way, a second (or third) break out album. Most of the music, from this album, was written alongside Matt Morris who provided therapeutic support as Joy worked through her inhibitions of being "so afraid to say anything that [she was] risking not saying anything at all". He told her to be brave and write her feelings into her music. Venus was "literally [Joy] just talking, one line at a time". The album was a way for Joy Williams to "find [her] own voice again and to stand on [her] own two feet" describing in both detail and emotion how she is working toward "becoming the woman [she's] always wanted to be."**

When I heard the album for the first time, I was shocked at the changes not only to Joy William's style but also to her as a person. If this album was, as she claimed during her interview with One2One Network, about authenticity, then I feel she has changed a great deal since I first became aware of her. Were these good changes or bad?

While I'm not sure that my ten-year-ago-self would have enjoyed this album (in comparison to the other music of William's I was listening to at the time), I think, by creating this album, Joy has definitely grown and changed maturing into the artist she is today. I may not have listened to this music ten years ago, but I don't think Joy Williams could have written it ten years ago either. Her new album makes a number of statements about what it means to be a woman and a mother as well as including a breadth of emotion as she considers what her life is like now that the band she was a part of, The Civil Wars, is broken up. The songs I especially enjoyed were "Not Enough" and "What A Good Woman Does" that fully display emotion, much like her work did from years ago. There were many songs I didn't enjoy as much, but, with so many intense and heartfelt songs on this album, I think almost anyone will be able to relate to it.

Interested in finding out more? Check out the Official Joy Williams site for more information on the album. You can also follow her on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) or check out her most recent videos on Youtube.

Pre-order Venus from Amazon or iTunes.

Are you familiar with any of Joy Williams older music? Or perhaps the band The Civil Wars? What do you think of her new song "Woman (Oh Mama)"? Share! I'd love to hear! :)

* I participated in the Joy WIlliams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.
** All quotes are from an interview posted on One2One Network from an interview with Joy Williams.

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