American singer-songwriter, Joy Williams, is in a vital point in her career. Her part in the Grammy award winning group, the Civil Wars, has only recently split up. Woman (Oh Mama) is William’s first release off of her upcoming LP, Venus. This album will be William’s fifth solo album overall, but first since the breakup of the Civil Wars, making it important to her survival as a successful singer-songwriter.
From the get-go, it becomes evident what Williams is concerned with in this track; empowerment. The track opens with a tribal rhythm, which continues throughout most of the song. This song is in some ways a kind feminist war chant, a visceral celebration of woman hood. It is hard to not become effected by this bold song. It is loud and uncompromising. William’s proudly declares “I am the universe wrapped in skin”, an example of exactly how bold Williams is in this song.
This new single might come as a shock for fans of the Civil Wars. The subtlety is gone, replaced by a very bold and empowered singer, empowering and embracing herself. I have to give Williams credit for this attempt. It is a brave move. However, I felt the single would have a better reception, if it was less clean. For an emotional empowering song, Woman (Oh Mama) just feels too over-structured and over-produced. I think the bold empowerment that Williams is attempting to hit in this song would have come across if the instrumentation and the production had been a little bit rawer.