I was a huge fan of the Nashville-based duo The Civil Wars. I LOVED the way Joy Willams' haunting, ethereal voice soared opposite John Paul White's soulful sound. Like a lot of Civil Wars fans, I wasn't quite sure what to expect of Joy's post-Civil Wars solo album. Of course, when One2One Network offered me the opportunity to review the album, I was thrilled to give it an early listen.
Williams' solo album, Venus, tells a beautiful, uplifting story of modern womanhood. Themes of mothering, relationships, and strength abound. The songs don't have the dreamy, old-time feel of Civil Wars tunes; rather, they're often straightforward tales of love, loss, or celebration. "Sweet Love of Mine" will resonate with mothers or anyone else who has a very special child in their life. "Woman (Oh Mama)" is beautifully celebratory, and if "Before I Sleep" hasn't already been slated for a movie soundtrack, it should be soon! Of course, for Civil Wars die-hards, it's easy to interpret a few songs as being about the band's breakup; perhaps "One Day I Will" is just that, or maybe it's about the end of another type of relationship. That's the beauty of Venus; many of these songs go beyond Joy's own experiences and touch something universal in the listener.