Album Review: Hollyn, One-Way Conversations

February 11, 2017
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Modern music with a message. Lyrics that are understandable, relevant and reverent combined with a fresh sound makes this newcomer’s album one that is sure to please the cross-generational musical palate.

Hollyn released her first LP yesterday, February 10th. It follows up her successful EP with the No. 1 hit single, Alone (feat. TRU). I must admit that Hollyn is a new artist find for me. I must also admit that I quickly became an admirer.

ABOUT HOLLYN: Hailing from Ohio, raised in the church and on the music greats from Lecrae to Southern Gospel, this American Idol alum has been working the past two years on her national debut. Hollyn has a style all her own. Listeners were introduced to this vibrant young lady on TobyMac’s songs “Lights Shine Bright” and “Backseat Driver,” which she is also a co-writer. ~MergePR

Funky, fun and faith-filled. If you’re a hip old mom, like me, who simply likes good music and you have a teen or tween, Hollyn’s music could very well bridge the musical gap for you. Your children might even think you’re cool. Bonus points!

The album is rich with creative melodies carefully chosen to not overpower the captivating lyrics or her voice. I thought several times how seeing her in concert would probably be quite an entertaining and energetic show.

Not too long into the first track, “Can’t Live Without”, I realized my head was enjoying the beat as much as my ears were. Throughout the album, I felt like I was on a well-planned road trip that took me through city streets alive with a pumping heartbeat of activity only to turn the corner into a quiet village with a peaceful stream. It was a good trip. I’m not sure what went on behind the scenes in the song selections and placement but I found them to flow well and allow my heart to ebb and flow with her message.

I tried to decide who Hollyn’s vocal and musical styling reminded me of. I called in my 17-year-old daughter to help me. I realize that comparison is never really beneficial to do but in writing this review I really wanted to find some combination of musicians to offer a better idea of her vocal and musical style. As we listened, my daughter and looked at each other and in complete unity, agreed that she sounded like very much like Hollyn.

Real life issues, real heart issues, Hollyn takes us girls on a relatable journey that seems as personal to us as it must have been for her. I felt as if she drew from her own life experiences and her heart poured out.

“There isn’t one song here that’s empty of life experience,” Hollyn asserts. “For all of the questions I had going into this project, I did know I wanted to share what’s important in my life and not hide. I asked God to give me a creative way of expressing the voice and desires of my heart; it feels like each of these songs is an answer to that prayer. ~Hollyn

“Go”, a reminder to run from temptations and sin that threatens to draw us back in.

“Awe”, a message of God’s overwhelming love.

“Lovely” and “Waiting For” were especially appreciated by this mom. I listened to the album with my daughter and she agreed that these two songs offer a very timely message in the days when our younger generation is so desperately searching for self-worth and longing to be loved.

The album is good, fun, sincere, meaningful, and not overly produced music. I give it an 8 out of 10. It misses the mark by 2 only to allow space for her next album to be even better.

Hollyn teams up with newcomers and notables such as Steven Malcolm, Andy Mineo, Tree Giants and TobyMac. Their contributions only add to the beauty and spirit of this uniquely purposed album.

Click below to watch the video. Hollyn has hit the road with the TobyMac Hits Deep Tour. The tour will run through April 9th.

Purchase Hollyn’s One-Way Conversations on iTunes. You can also find her music on Spotify.

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Andrea Stunz is a wife, mom, mother in law and a ridiculously proud grandmother. She is a Jesus-loving pilgrim and a writer who loves stories; living them, hearing them, sharing them and capturing them through the camera lens as often as possible. You can find more of her writing at www.andreastunz.com.

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