Karyn Williams [Only You]
Posted January 12, 2013
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
With an exuberant personality, strong vocals and superb songwriting skills, it’s with eager anticipation that the music industry is waiting for Karyn Williams’ national debut project on Inpop Records, Only You, which released everywhere on January 8, 2013. The 11-song album features original compositions co-written by Williams and generated interest from multiple producers who handled the production; Brian G. White, Barry Weeks, Chris Bevins, Craig Swift, and Keith Everett Smith.
The project’s first single, “Rest in the Hope” was written in tribute to her father, Orlando Magic founder and executive Pat Williams, as he faced a battle with cancer that is now in remission. The additional songs on Only You are a vibrant and hopeful collection that include; “Every Good Thing” that is an infectious celebration of God’s faithfulness, “Enough For Me” a gentle reminder that if we have Jesus we have all we need, along with “Just May Be” that chronicles Williams’ own personal experience with adoption, “You just may be the answer to a prayer/You just may be the only heaven someone will ever see.”
There are several great themes that are faced by women specifically that the album addresses in a mature and faith-based way. Probably the most memorable moments on the album for me are the songs about being made in God's image and not seeking society's approval but knowing that God created and loves us all as we are. That critical message comes through in "Banner," “Waiting in the Rain,” “Hey There,” and the piano-laced ballads “This Is Freedom” and “Only You,” which are all among the most personal songs on the album. It's a life-lesson Karyn hopes will resonate with women in similar situations. That message is so important and I'm so glad she addresses it with her songs. It's also very relatable to listeners, especially for those who struggle with control issues and perfectionism. We are called as Christians to believe in the freedom that we have in the Cross of Jesus. We are free from our fears, addictions, insecurities and perfectionism. Jesus came to die for us so that we can all truly live in Him. The lyrics of “This Is Freedom” wreck me as Karyn passionately sings “this is freedom nailed to a tree.” Amen.
Karyn Williams has a pure and strong voice that immediately reminded me of Amy Grant and Bethany Dillon. She clearly loves our Lord and Savior Jesus with all of her heart and wants to celebrate that fact with every song. I have three young daughters and this is a nice upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages which is a great alternative to mainstream pop artists. Karyn brings her walk with Jesus into her songwriting and this is the best album in the piano-based singer-songwriter genre I've heard since the latest by Sara Groves, Laura Story and Amy Grant which puts her in great company. She co-wrote the standout closing songs“This Is Freedom” and “Only You” with “Better than a Hallelujah” GRAMMY award nominated songwriter Sarah Hart. If you like that song, don’t hesitate to pick up Karyn Williams’ stirring album, Only You.
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