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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Joy Lippard

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2009 3 Feb
Joy Lippard
Sounds like … intelligent pop/rock akin to Joy Williams, Leigh Nash, Sara Bareilles, and Natalie Grant.At a glance … a well-rounded debut full of vibrant piano pop and acoustic rock that addresses issues of self-image, missions outreach, and growing up in an uncertain society.Track ListingHey There StrangerMiracleI Will Write You LettersToo Much To Ask ForHole In My PocketStrongerIt's Your LifeThe Other SideShe's a DiamondWalk Me Home

Joy Lippard has been writing songs since a day before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks—an impressive fact since she's now only 18. The Washington D.C.-bred tunesmith was merely 11 at the time of that tragedy and she says it cultivated an ongoing creative stirring within her that eventually led to her victory in the 2006 GMA Music In the Rockies songwriting competition (in the pop/rock category).

But Joy is not all about music. The bulk of Lippard's teen years were also spent on mission trips, particularly in Guatemala where her family's visited on several occasions.

It's no surprise that the singer/songwriter's self-titled debut is inspired by those outreach issues, particularly the joyful pop of "Miracle," which recalls many of Jesus' marvelous feats and serves as a hopeful mechanism for the less fortunate. She also directs messages of peace and comfort towards those struggling in today's uncertain society, suggesting that no matter how challenging a circumstance may seem, the Lord always has the situation under control. Tunes like the earthy "Hole In My Pocket" (co-written with Out of the Grey alum Scott Dente) and the sunny guitars of "Walk Me Home" are respectively reminiscent of Leigh Nash and Joy Williams as they encourage listeners towards wholehearted surrender of their stresses.

Given Lippard's age, it's no wonder that several songs also address self-esteem, image, and celebrity culture. However, those topics also certainly extend to all ages and places in life. In fact, the escalating "Stronger" simultaneously relates to someone yearning to be thin and to the person who's struggled through an eating disorder. Lippard also tackles sexual purity in both the Natalie Grant-inspired "She's a Diamond" and "Too Much To Ask For"—an Avril Lavigne-styled ballad armed with Lippard's potent voice and meaningful message.

One of Lippard's greatest strengths as a songwriter is being able to take an obvious observation but frame it in an unconventional storyline. The Sara Bareilles-like "I Will Write You Letters" talks about how text messaging and MySpace has reduced people's abilities to have meaningful interactions.

Considering this well rounded launching pad, there's no reason why Lippard won't continue to blossom as a top troubadours—and one who is likely to find some label offers on the table and more widespread recognition beyond just the nation's capital.

For more information on Joy Lippard, visit http://www.myspace.com/joylippard.

© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.