Following the release of her album God and Money, readers of CCM Magazine choose singer/songwriter Jill Phillips as Best Independent Artist of 2002. A year later in August 2003, Phillips released Writing on the Wall, making her mark as the first female artist signed to Fervent Records. The album remains true to the pop-folk style listeners of Phillips' 1999 self-titled release and God and Money have grown to expect from her. It is a style similar to that of Bebo Norman, only less melancholy in nature. A former student of commercial voice performance, Phillips has a soothing voice, comparable to that of Twila Paris and Sara Groves. The acoustic-based instrumentation and arrangements of the album serve to support her vocals as well as the lyrical content of the project. Lyrically, the songs communicate messages of spiritual growth and ultimately God's faithfulness. Written before the death of her father, Phillips found the songs to be of comfort to her after his passing. For example, "Even Still" deals with death's lack of power in a Christian's life, while "Still Is My Soul" speaks of learning to be content in all circumstances. Of the 12 songs, the only track that doesn't seem to fit is "God Believes in You," penned by Pierce Pettis. While it does strive to offer encouragement to listeners, which fits the album's overall theme, it seems to shift the focus from God to the listener. Writing on the Wall is a good third chapter in the musical releases of Jill Phillips. It is a strong project with songs listeners will find themselves singing as they go about their days.
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AllMusic Review by Ashleigh Kittle