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The Ones We Never Knew

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

One of my favorite albums!

I've been listening to Holly's album since it was released. Over a year later I'm still enjoying it as much as I did the first time. A great talent in her own right. If you like an acoustic sound with meaningful lyrics you won't be disappointed.

Emotional Catharsis

Holly Williams will take you on an emotional journey as powerful and moving as any you've ever known. Her heart-rending lyrics combined with her incredible melodies will draw you in, open you up, and make you feel. One of the best albums and best new artists I've heard in a very long time.

I almost didn't even give it a listen, but I'm glad I did.

As someone who dislikes most country music, knowing that Holly Williams was related to Hank was a real turn off. I almost didn't even give it a listen, but I'm glad I did. Despite the uphill battle, she more than won me over. The songs are all brilliantly melodic while the lyrics show great depth. The production is of top quality (a spot that her family’s ties no doubt helped) though it keeps the authentic tone throughout. Most of the songs build and evolve, so the clips you hear in iTunes don’t give a clear picture of the greatness of a song. Think a cross between Damien Rice, Norah Jones, and Sara Bareilles - such a wonderful combination. There is subtle instrumentation in most of the songs and they all have far more of the feel of an intimate concert of a singer accompanied by her acoustic (but perfectly mixed) backup band. Some of my personal favorites are “Would You Still Have Fallen”, “Man in the Making”, “Velvet Sounds”, and “All as it Should Be”. The music lends itself to a personal listening experience, you won’t hear these songs at parties or even much on the radio, but these songs deserve to be heard. At no point did this sound like a first album (in fact after my first listen immediately I tried to find more of her music). I’m eagerly anticipating the next one and though I don’t know how, I really hope it is even better than this masterpiece...


Born: March 12, 1981 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Most country artists talk about their long journey to Nashville, but Holly Williams was born and raised in country music's capital. Most country artists speak of some music-loving elder who almost made it, but Holly Williams comes from country royalty. Hank Williams was her grandfather, Hank Jr. her dad, and Hank III her half-brother. Despite all this -- and a couple songs she wrote at the age of eight -- when growing up Holly wasn't interested in music, and dreamed of a career in modeling. Hank...
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The Ones We Never Knew, Holly Williams
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Customer Ratings