Holly Williams' first album, The Ones We Never Knew, was completely unexpected. Being the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. carries certain expectations with it. Namely, you should make country music. Her brother, Hank III, realized this, and went for the outlaw country scene. He was accepted. One of them.
Holly's first album was full of nice little pop songs. Sure, there was a bit of country tinge in her voice, but there's no helping that. That voice was wrapped in a great pop sound (most of them being piano based arrangements). Since this was not what people were looking for, it got mixed reviews. I, however, really liked it, and looked forward to her second album.
Five years after her first album (with a number of label problems in those years), she returned with a new album. Guess what? It's a country album. Whether this is her natural progression or a sound forced upon her by her label, I'm not really sure (although I tend to think it's the latter).
It's not a terrible album. The opener ("He's Making a Fool Out of You") is a nice little song. There's a hint of a stronger country influence on this album, but it's still a good song. The second track ("Mama"), however, tells the listener, "This is a country album." There are some scattered songs on the album that are a bit more pop oriented ("Three Days in Bed", "Alone"), but most of them are of the straight-up country variety.
Again, this is not a terrible album. In fact, if you like country music, you'll probably really like it. But, after the great sound she carved out on her first album, it's a bit of a shame to hear her falling back on what everyone thought she should've sounded like on that first album.
I'm holding out hope that her next album will see her returning to her pop sound...but I will not be holding my breath.
Favorite Song: "He's Making a Fool Out of You"
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