Ones We Never Knew

The Ones We Never Knew

4.0 1
by Holly Williams
     
 
Do not be deceived. She may be the daughter of Hank Jr., the half sister of Hank III, and the granddaughter of Hank Sr., but Holly Williams is plowing some far different musical acreage than her bloodlines might suggest. While certain aspects of the Hanks' music inform Holly's -- most

Overview

Do not be deceived. She may be the daughter of Hank Jr., the half sister of Hank III, and the granddaughter of Hank Sr., but Holly Williams is plowing some far different musical acreage than her bloodlines might suggest. While certain aspects of the Hanks' music inform Holly's -- most notably the spiritual angst and the lovesick blues -- her songwriting influences run more along the lines of Randy Newman and latter-day Tom Waits, and vocally she can be compared to singers as varied as Dusty Springfield, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and Kasey Chambers. Williams's lyrics are straightforward, intimate, and piercing in their diary-like frankness, with memorable phrases and striking images jumping out of almost every number. Co-producing with Monroe Jones, she builds upon the guitar, bass, and drum arrangements with several additions, such as the string ensemble the LoveSponge Quartet, who add Beatle-esque grandeur to several songs. On "Take Me Down," a stray, slightly distorted guitar floats in the mix, embodying the dislocation in Williams's lyrics, and on "I'll Only Break Your Heart," a deeply submerged steel guitar is an aural Siren luring a would-be lover to the pain that awaits. Over electric guitar and somber, calliope-like keyboards, "Memory of Me" -- a near-whispered, heart-wrenching confession of the damage the singer inflicted on a paramour -- becomes a spare, brittle art song, until all hell breaks loose in an orchestral crescendo at the end. On "Nothing More," discreet flugelhorn, trumpet, strings, and music box–delicate keyboard chimes render the winsome appeal for passion doubly heartbreaking. The youngest Williams's work is multilayered in texture, intent, and content, and in all those aspects wise beyond the artist's years, making this an amazing debut.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It was bound to happen someday -- somebody in Hank Williams' family tree was bound to produce a classy, tasteful album, and that somebody is Holly Williams, the granddaughter of Hank, daughter of Hank Jr., and sister of Hank III. Where her father and brother are proud of their rough, rowdy, rebellious ways, Holly is a somber, meditative adult alternative pop singer/songwriter -- which, given her lineage, might be the most rebellious thing she could have done. While her debut album, Ones We Never Knew, might be a little too quiet and self-serious, it does showcase an ambitious songwriter and soulful singer with a knack for sustaining an introspective mood and a way with words. Taken in small doses, this is quite effective -- she's creating sketches with her words and music that are quite haunting and evocative -- but by the end of the record, it's hard not to wish that she would have varied the instrumentation and tempos a little bit more, adding other sonic textures and moods to this downbeat, reflective record. In spite of this, Ones We Never Knew is a promising debut from Holly Williams -- a record strong enough to stand on its own merits, regardless of her family history.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/05/2004
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0602498623398
catalogNumber:
000252902
Rank:
85774

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Holly Williams   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
David Angell   Violin
Larry Campbell   Steel Guitar
David Davidson   Violin,Viola
Mike Haynes   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Monroe Jones   Keyboards
George Recile   Drums
Spencer Campbell   Double Bass
Monisa Angell   Viola
Jeff Roach   Piano
Love Sponge String Quartet   Strings
Tom Bukovac   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ethan Pilzer   Bass
Ken Lewis   Percussion,Drums
Matthew Walker   Cello
Kevin Teel   Electric Guitar
James DiGirolamo   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
John Jackson   Dobro

Technical Credits

Jim Dineen   Engineer
Monroe Jones   Producer,Engineer
Holly Williams   Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? I purchased a copy of 23 year old singer/songwriter Holly Williams CD "The Ones We Never Knew" just recently and I have to tell you that I thought it was an incredible listening experience. It is an album of pure folk/pop similar to Bob Dylan and Jewel, however Holly Williams deals with the everyday issues of love and relationships "Take Me Down", "I`d Only Break Your Heart", regret and loss "Sometimes", "Would You Still Have Fallen?" and even god "Between The Lines". Holly has a certain passion in her voice that cannot fail to touch you and her ear for melody is shining brightly throughout, be it with a guitar, piano or a full band. The only flaw I do have is that "The Ones" is rather ballad heavy and can on occassion get a little tedious. All in all a great debut, Her granddfather Hank would`ve been proud