Joy Williams – Venus

joy williams venusPicture an album that soundwise is a mixture of gospel and synth-pop and one that thematically concerns a woman exploring who she truly is and you have former Civil Wars member, Joy Williams’ first solo album. Civil Wars was an excellent mesh of two very different and often combative musical personalities. Now that they have broken up we get to see what Joy Williams is like on her own. While the voice is still the haunting one we loved as a part of Civil Wars what I think she was going for on here does not always turn out well. There is almost a battle with herself going on and she does not always come out smelling like roses or the victor. The songs all have a confessional feel about them and sometimes they almost stray into the self-exploration novel territory. Not a good thing. The slow tempo almost meditative songs all start to melt into one another so much so that you cannot distinguish one from the next. That being said I did enjoy the more up tempo tracks like “Woman” a heck of a lot more. Unfortunately they were few and far between. “Sweet Love of Mine” is also an interesting song in that it features a mixture of electronic beats with Appalachian rhythms. A head scratcher in the beginning that will grow on you. All in all, I will not dismiss outright any further music that comes from Joy Williams as she is still trying to find herself as a solo artist, but this is in no way of the category of quality music that Civil Wars was.

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