God and a Girl
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
September 16, 2008
Label
Ardent Records

Sounds like … the acoustic-based folk-pop of singer/songwriters like Kendall Payne, Sarah McLachlan, Jennifer Knapp, Sarah Masen, Aimee Mann and Bethany Dillon.

At a glance … with thoughtful and honest songwriting, Joy Whitlock's impressive debut successfully relates her confessions and conversations with God, all expressed with an acoustic pop/rock style that occasionally demonstrates an impressively artful side.

Joy Whitlock grew up a pastor's kid in Mississippi, complete with the stereotypical rebellious streak. Dabbling with things like promiscuity and drug abuse, she left home at 17 to live with her older sister in Memphis. But then her life changed in 2004 after reluctantly accepting her mother's offer to see The Passion of the Christ. By the time the film ended, she'd recommitted her life to Jesus.

All the while, the heavily-tattooed twenty-something had been developing her musical skills after seeing Sarah McLachlan in concert ten years earlier. Between local performances and a new outpouring of songs depicting her spiritual journey, she attracted the attention of Memphis-based Ardent Records, and soon performing and recording with label mate Todd Agnew before finally releasing her debut.

Whitlock describes God and a Girl as her conversations with God, relating the struggles and realities of her faith walk. Indeed, "Cost of Being Free" has an autobiographical feel, describing how she relies on Christ whenever she stumbles. "Faith Don't Fail" shares how it's hard to live her beliefs, and in "Testify" she admits her failings to her "Daddy." Whitlock relates the other side of the conversation through "Don't Look Down" and "Behind the Scenes," expressing God's love and support through all things, regardless ...

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