Williams is at her best and truest self
From being a Christian solo artist to being one half of the Civil Wars, Joy Williams has crafted folk-rock music for the soul. While her run with partner John Paul White was a successful one with tracks featured in Grey’s Anatomy and the Hunger Games, the Civil Wars was quick lived with only two albums released before their group broke things off in 2014. One short year later, Williams released her first non-Christian solo album titled Venus. Four years later and her second endeavor away from Christian music, Front Porch proves that Williams is really her best when putting folk-Americana first.
Williams opens the 12-track solo album with “Canary,” a quiet, bluesy track that fades in soft harmonies, fiddles and steel guitar and is very reminiscent of the Civil Wars glory days. Williams’ put her vocal performance to the test on the title track “Front Porch,” a subtle and welcoming yet somber song about forgiving and forgetting. The album is classically filled with songs for every occasion, relationship hardships (“When Does a Heart Move On” and “No Place Like You”) and major life changes (“All I Need”). “The Trouble With Wanting” is a stand out on the album for its openness about desire and lust. The country-like ballad is filled with steel guitar and haunting vocals.
The emotional peak of the album is found in “Preacher’s Daughter,” a tribute to her late father who passed away from cancer in between albums. The song takes the listener through the love and struggles that Williams faced with her father and truly moving and personal the loss of a loved one is. The album ends with “Look How Far We’ve Come,” a perfect way to end another highlight in the career of an artist. The song goes through an emotional rollercoaster of what her life has been like thus far, “Through the sorrows, through the night/ there’s hope of heaven’s light/ together we will walk to kingdom come/ we got miles left to run but we’ve only just begun/ but good lord, look how far we’ve come.”
Williams’ has proven time and time again that no matter the situation she’s in, she will come out the other end in absolute triumph. Her lyrics and vocals always touch the heart and the music she creates is nothing short of pure joy (pun intended). She stayed true to her roots, moved back to where she felt she belonged and created a project that reflected those life moments. Front Porch is Williams at her best but reminds that listener that even better is yet to come.