Album Review :
Karyn Williams - Wake Up EP

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Artist: Karyn Williams
Title: Wake Up EP
Label: Inpop Records
Release Date: 11/1/11
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre


  1. Wake Up
  2. Banner
  3. Only You
  4. Hey There
  5. This is Freedom

Recently signed to Inpop Records, Karyn Williams decided in 2010 to move to Nashville (after receiving a University degree in Broadcast Journalism) to pursue a career in music. The oldest in a family of 19 children (with 14 adopted from around the world); Karyn released her first radio single, Rejoice, in 2010; as well as signing with Inpop Records in 2011. Her debut EP, Wake Up, showcases some of her upcoming songs off her debut album, Only You, out August 28th 2012. Listening through each of the five tracks, I was able to immerse myself in the truths of God’s unfailing love for his creation, and the freedom that comes from what He did for us through the cross and resurrection. With such strong vocal range, huge personality and heart for music ministry, Karyn’s debut EP is certain to bring cheer and laughter, as well as contemplation, reflection and heartfelt moments of hope and help when needed. A glimpse of what is to come in 2012; Wake Up EP is a collection of songs you won’t want to miss if you’re a CCM fan!

The title track, ‘Wake Up’ is the first on the album, starting with a strong drum kick, guitars, and a ‘woah’ vocal harmony as Karyn encourages us to wake up to live our lives fully for Christ. As she starts to sing, ‘…this world goes fast, chasing things that don’t last, and I’m running out of breath, well behind in my own life and I’m not even out of bed…’ I can guarantee that some of us feel exactly like this, that life is passing them by without a care. Through this song, I am able to enjoy its musical uniqueness, but on the serious side, this message is for everyone, as we understand that we ought to wake up to life and what it brings, knowing that as we continue to devote our lives to Christ, He will give us the strength, vitality and energy to tackle each day with all its mishaps and dramas. Well done Karyn for such a compelling first song, urging us all to ‘…wake up…’!

‘Banner’, ‘Hey There’ and ‘Only You’ are all strong songs that all have a potential at being a radio hit after ‘Rest in The Hope’, showcasing some of Karyn’s strong songwriting as she relays to listeners many themes of worship and a lifestyle of it. ‘Hey There’ is as comforting as you can get, with Karyn sharing to the broken and hurting, that God understands where we have been because He’s been there too; giving up his only Son Jesus to be nailed to the cross for our hurt and pain that we have in our hearts. With relatable lyrics, ‘…everyday it seems you’re lost in the mirror, there’s no reflection anymore, it’s disappeared, does anybody ever think about who you are or what you’ve done? Does the sun seem to fade as its going; another day is gone without ever knowing that the life you live mean anything to anyone?…’, we are met with the knowledge that ‘…He knows right where you are, and what you’re going through, He knows everything you feel because He felt it too…’ Hope beyond measure as we realise God’s infinite love through the musical elements of strong drums, harmonious backing vocals and light percussion; ‘Hey There’ is my favourite song on the EP. ‘Only You’ is a declaratory statement of devotion for Christ, with just a piano, guitars and light percussion. With affirming lyrics like ‘…only you mend all that I have broken, only you hear what I leave unspoken…’; we are met with the promise that God meets us where we are in our moments of loss, grief, hurt and pain as He is able to heal us as we continue to soak ourselves in His Word and His presence. ‘Banner’ is an up-tempo piano driven song with a jazz undertone as Karyn shows us that God covers us with His banner of love, regardless of what we do or don’t do in our lives. God loves us beyond anything we can fathom, showing that ‘…I’m the moon in Your sky, I’m the jewel in Your eye, don’t let me forget it…’ A reassuring song about God’s love, ‘Banner’ is also potential single material in an EP that has highlighted Karyn’s ability to capture listeners with her ingenious writing ability and musical style.

Overall: Karyn Williams debut EP of 5 songs has certainly highlighted her skills in her musical talent; a deserving addition on the Inpop Records roster, together with artists like Newsboys, Jaci Velasquez and Jimmy Needham. There is a line within the piano-only last song, ‘This is Freedom’, that really shows Karyn’s heart for Jesus, as she proclaims, ‘…now these shackles that have held me down, are unleashed by thorn and crown, sweet forgiveness, pouring from Your brow, Your life for mine, no greater love…’ Once we realise that God gave everything for us, we can freely give our love back to Him and those around us. Wake Up EP is an eye-opener into the faith that drives Karyn during her daily life as she lives each day for the One who truly deserves it. Well done Karyn for such a compelling EP, can’t wait for Only You on August 28th 2012!

RIYL: Natalie Grant, Kerrie Roberts, Jaci Velasquez, Rebecca St. James

Buy the Album: Online Store

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