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The Mad Scientist's Weak Experiment

Keller Williams

Keller Williams - Home
(Sci Fidelity Records)
2 (out of 5 stars)

Reviewed: Sept. 8, 2003

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Keller Williams' seventh studio release Home the singer / songwriter / guitarist has stripped down his production from a full blown band to sixteen songs that features Williams performing all of the instrumental duties by himself, just as he does for most of his live performances.
While many familiar elements of his music are still evident - Anglicized reggae and funk, extended acoustic instrumentations and non-threatening vanilla vocals - the net result of this album comes off more subdued, lighthearted and, ultimately, more tiresome than previous efforts.
Known by his fans as the 'mad scientist,' Williams does display a broad knowledge of instrumentation, as proven on the numbers "Tubeular," where he incorporates sitar, "Apparition," with its rubbery organic funk rhythms and jaunty acoustic guitar and "Victory Song," where he even tosses in a bit of electronic noodling. A Spanish-flavored guitar on "Casa Quetzal" along with a James Taylor-like vocal delivery over staccato guitar phrasings on "Above The Thunder" only adds to the overall texture, but not unlike many jam bands cut from the same cloth - which Williams' music comfortably sits Injun-style next to - the songs soon go limp with milquetoast arrangements that pussyfoot lightly over different elements of world music, while never truly embracing any of them.
A mad scientist of music he may be, but with a watered down potion such as Home it seems that he may need to spend a bit more time in his laboratory adding more substance to his concoction before releasing another experiment.

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