Review: Venus by Joy Williams

Venus by Joy WilliamsI mentioned Joy Williams’ “Woman (Oh Mama)” to my friend Dinna, who’s followed the Civil Wars throughout their career. She was surprised by the new sound, and I don’t think she was sure if she’d take well to it. Well, Dinna, there is no need to panic. Venus, her first solo outing after the break-up of the Civil Wars, may be wrapped in a more adventurous, less languid blanket, but it still has Joy’s expressive, occasionally pained vocals front and center. It may come as a shock to those who are more familiar with the Civil Wars’ take on Americana, but you listen to Venus and it feels more of an evolution. It clicks nicely with the emancipation storyline you get when you listen to Joy’s lyrics, addressing a bunch of personal upheavals with the class she’s always had. And it won’t take a lot of getting used to, either. Venus is easy for both the long-time fan and the newcomer, and the possibility of Joy getting a hit out of it is icing on the cake. [NB] | 4/5

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