When the four time Grammy winning folk duo The Civil Wars separated in August 2014, Joy Williams was thrust into being something she was very familiar with, a solo act. Having lots of emotionally tangible material to work off of, Williams musically labored towards her next project. Two years after the split, she released Venus. Venus is her fifth solo studio album and her first without roots in the contemporary Christian genre. Williams debuted the eleven track collection on June 30th of this year. The album is introspective and bold, touching on the themes of love, womanhood, and letting go. Reviews were positive and generally favorable for the heartache nuanced and pop folk work. Venus peaked at number 3 on the US Folk Billboard Album Charts.
On July 22nd, Joy Williams released Venus (Acoustic), a stripped miniature of the parent album under the same name. The record is seven tracks long and the pieces that were duplicated are reworked in playing order. The album is very pleasing, finding the hidden crevices of previous fast paced singles and slowing them down to find new intimate centers. The revamped tracks include:
“Sweet Love of Mine”
“You Loved Me”
“Someone to Love You” and “We Can Never Go Back” are new two additions. Like most acoustic renderings, guitars play a prominent role in the musical landscape of each song. The chords to each song are not extraordinarily diverse. The notes tend to volley and jog back and forth throughout each single. When the graceful strums are married to Williams’ lyrics like, “Remember when you loved me/Remember when I left/ Remember that time it hurt like nothing else/Wanna try that again”, the result is musically resonate and poignant.