Monday, July 28, 2008

Music Review: Joy Whitlock God and a Girl

As I mentioned in last weeks review of P.O.D.'s latest album, I just received a new batch of upcoming releases from my friend at INO Records - including God and a Girl from Joy Whitlock (also on Ardent Records). In an effort to be a little more responsive to these nice people giving me free music, I am making an effort to have all three reviewed before they hit the stores. (Also, as I've told you and them, I won't give a good review just because I get some free music. But I will give a fair review, including highlighting what some people might like even when others do not.)

Joy Whitlock God and a Girl album coverSo, anyway, I first heard Joy Whitlock's music around two years ago. God and a Girl is her first full-length album, but she has released two EP's - The Fake, in 2005, and the God and a Girl EP from earlier this year. I got some of the music from The Fake, which is included in the 14-track God and a Girl, and liked listening to it then. Living in Memphis, her sound is infused with the bluesy rock sound of the city. If you want another reference point for her sound, I would say that it is also reminiscent of Jennifer Knapp.

My quick-take on the album is that it is a top-notch effort. The music is fun to listen to, catchy without being repetitive or trite, and lyrically rich - the complete package.

Read more . . .
Joy's story is one of rebellion, one moment, and repentance. In her words, the album is a four-year conversation with God, thus the title "God and a Girl". Her struggles to become more than she had made herself to be are painted throughout this "conversation":

I just wanna get this out
I wish I didn’t know what I know
These memories won't let me go
It’s what keeps me in
It’s what locks me out
Oh faith don’t fail me now

(from "Faith Don't Fail")

When Joy Whitlock sets out to make music, she has something to say through it. But, at the same time, she has no desire to coerce, only to tell a story. "Art that’s not simply propaganda" - this is the message that greets visitors to her website. For example, when you listen to "Not Through With You" you get the feeling that it's herself she's talking about, not someone she's trying to preach at. (You can watch her live performance of this song below.) Much of the album is like this - full of energy, hope, and new-found purpose.

God and a Girl hits stores on September 16th August 19th (a busy music day, with over two-dozen CCM albums hitting that day). But why wait for good music, eh? Especially when you can get some free? First, there's the free download of "Your Face" through Joy's ecard, where you can also watch an video interview of her. But there's more: Joy Whitlock is on NoiseTrade - where you can download the "God and a Girl EP, including the songs "Faith Don't Fail", "Not Through With You", and "Behind the Scenes". With NoiseTrade you can either pay what you think fair for the album or give three e-mail addresses of friends who will be told about NoiseTrade - a good deal either way.

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Sarah said...

Can't say I'd ever heard of this one before, but you're right... it is catchy. Seems like she'll be a popular one, if she's not already.

euphrony said...

Sarah, this is her first full-length album. She's pretty new on the scene, so no real surprise you've not heard her before. She's done some touring with Todd Agnew, and had the two EP's (but they don't always get a lot of attention).

Kat @ Inspired To Action said...

Great review, E. I downloaded the song from the ecard and have been enjoying it for a couple weeks now.

Anonymous said...

Great review E! I met her at GMA and she is such a nice person. In the showcase, she told us that she gave her life to Christ in a movie theatre during the Passion Of The Christ movie

euphrony said...

Kat and Charley, I'm glad you liked the review.

Kat, if you've not, then go to NoiseTrade and get the EP. You can use my e-mail if you want - any of them, actually. :)

Charley, I've read her story and a couple of interviews she has done. She really does have one of the stories that you like to pass on. Leaving home at 17, rebellious and shunning God, slowly starting to feel His call again, getting drug to see The Passion Of The Christ by her mom, and just being totally changed.

Neat things: I am apparently the first to review the full album. And, since I liked it so much and that showed in the review, they linked to me on Joy's website and on Ardent Records websites - bith on their frontpages at the moment. Kinda cool!

stefanie said...

I like it, thanks! Going to check out her website after I look around here...

euphrony said...

Stefanie, Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Don't look around too much, when you hit the rheology posts you might go a little crazy!

Unknown said...

She was recently at Alive 2008 in Ohio, one of the nicest Christian music events I've been to in a long time. Check it out. She has a very unique sound, and I definitely agree "lyrically rich." I picked up her 6 song ep, after hearing her live , and its been in my cd rotation ever since can't wait till September!

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