Home – Keller Williams
SCI Fidelity 1014
For years, Keller Williams has been astounding live audiences with his one
man band. An amazing talent, Williams is proficient on several instruments,
and with the aid of a looping machine, he creates solo jams on the fly. His
previous studio albums have been slight departures from his live show,
employing backup bands or other guest musicians to accompany Williams'
talents. Now, on his eighth release, Home, Williams finally performs
every instrument and vocal line all by himself.
Williams' last few albums have all featured one standout composition that
becomes a crowd favorite, and the album opener, "Love Handles," will surely
claim that mantle. With a bouncing bass groove, and bright guitar swirls,
the homage to body fat is positive in a quirky way that only Williams can
deliver. His mellow voice blends perfectly with, well, his mellow voice on
lush harmonies that add to the inviting atmosphere of the upbeat song. It
won't be long before live audiences will be singing along at full volume.
While "Apparition" and "Victory Song" are notable tunes straight from the
standard lighthearted Keller Williams canon, "Casa Quetzal" gives him a rare
opportunity to display his flamenco skills. While typically praised for his
guitar prowess, he deserves ample credit for recreating the sound of
castanets with his bare hands. Of course, he adds his signature mouth
flugel, and a side of humor to go along with it.
Half of Home is instrumental, and the tracks vary in their
effectiveness. "Butt Ass Nipple" is a great percussion breakdown, while the
live cut of "Bitch Monkey" reads like a jazz jam session. On the other
hand, "Tubeular" gets a little carried away and borders on the obscenely
cute side of the spectrum. Everyone knows that Keller Williams can play
lots of instruments, but is it necessary for him to try to tackle each one
within a three minute and thirty-four second song? By the time a sitar
sound is heard overtop of a whistle, a bass, beatboxing, and several pieces
of percussion, one can almost hear Williams shouting "Look what I can do!"
More or less, Home is your classic Keller Williams album. The
jovial, well-written songs, the goofy lyrics, and the myriad of instruments
are vital to the formula. No one is trying to reinvent the wheel here, but
how much experimentation can one really ask of a multi-talented one man
band? Every time Keller Williams records, he's pushing the envelope in his
own way. Home is his first completely solo studio effort, and he
succeeds in issuing an album full of instrumental proficiency and
good-natured fun. It's a combination that's sure to please his many fans.