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Artist: Joy Williams
Label: Reunion Records
Time: 10 tracks/ 40:41

Joy Williams burst onto the scene a few years ago with a pop album that had more depth than much of the teen pop that was becoming common in CCM. She followed that album up with By Surprise which featured less of a pop sound and more of an acoustic feel. That album spawned hits such as "Surrender" and "Every Moment."

After a tumultuous few years, Joy has returned with Genesis, an album that she herself considers a debut album in many ways. With the aid of producer Matt Bronleewee, Williams has her own fingerprints all throughout this album. She has taken more of a hands-on role with this album than either of her first two albums including writing or co-writing every song on the album. This results in a much more mature album all-around.

Even from the opening notes of "Stay," it is obvious that this is a new Joy. The music is more rocking and her voice is stronger, more mature, and nuanced.The album features more of a rock sound than fans of Williams have yet to hear from her. This also shows through on songs such as "Hide" and "Say Goodbye."

This album also tackles issues that will resonate with many listeners. "We" looks at how people aren't always what they seem. "Hide" is a touching song about taking off the masks we wear and finding freedom in God's love and acceptance. "Silence" speaks of those times when God seems far away. The album features hope in songs such as "God Only Knows", which talks about only God knowing what we are truly going through and our pain. On a lighter note, "I'm in Love With You" is a simple song written from the heart of a newlywed about her marriage and love.

This album can definitely be seen as a new beginning for a more mature Joy Williams. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here with this new direction. If this album is any indication, then she can only continue to go up from here.

Burton Wray October 11, 2005 



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