This Time Around
A childhood marked by poverty and abuse echoes in the background of Heather Williams’ first album, This Time Around. But this Florida-based singer/songwriter infuses her Christ-centered songs with a forward-looking sense of hope. This Time Around includes four tracks from her self-titled 2010 debut EP (including the power ballad “Hallelujah”) along with six brand-new tunes. Williams’ assertive alto voice and unguarded songwriting style can deliver big faith anthems like “Start Over” and “You Are Loved” as well as humbler testimonies like “Holes.” She isn’t afraid to get brassy at times, even when beseeching the Lord to repair her broken life (as in “Beautiful Thing”). “Always Been Faithful” comes closest to explicitly alluding to the singer’s difficult upbringing; its words speak powerfully of surrendering sorrow and anger to God. The album’s production merges modern dance pop with classic rock moves, giving Williams’ vocals enough room to smolder and erupt.