"Going Home" begins with "Today," a spirited track that feels part melodic pop, part Southern jam, part late night dance party. This varied, interesting song provides a momentous start to the album, and the song closes in triumphant, head-rocking waters. "Here For You" displays warm vocals, likable chorus, and syrupy guitar licks to create a yearning, sophisticated track. The title track saunters by on the strength of horn and excellent vocals, laying foundation for Dennis Stadelman's guitar and a relaxed Caribbean "vibe." Juan Montero's full bodied saxophone colors the perimeter, providing excellent flourishes as the song ratchets to its conclusion. The playful banter of banjo introduces "Take Me Over" and intermingles with saxophone and vocals to create an interesting dynamic. Some of the more exploratory passages seem reminiscent of the Flecktones, where banjo reverberates against tight fusion jazz.
Energetic, spirited horn play establishes a nice introduction for "Creeker." The song matures into a hard-charging funk jam colored by robust saxophone and talkative guitar. This song segues nicely into "IntoMine," a track punctuated by spirited guitar, Montero's keyboard work, and contemplative lyrics. The playful touch of piano accentuates "Awake" and adds a charming quality to a warm, engaging song. Montero's saxophone leads the later measures of the song, offering another glimpse of his versatility and skill. "Babylon Man," a reggae track infused with yearning saxophone and the spirit of dance hall lyrics, displays a triumphant, resounding spirit. A game of "hide seek" seems evident in the lyrics of "Come and Find Me," as playful keyboards invoke the spirit of youth. The song develops into a full-flavored jam and then returns to the likable simplicity of its earlier measures.
The songs in "Going Home" present a cross section of spirited jams, splashed with funk and screaming guitar, to thoughtful tracks characterized by polished lyrics and an almost "pop" sensibility. These differing personalities work well on the tracks of "Going Home," making for an interesting, diverse package. The tracks "Today" and "Creeker" will definitely make a play list of "Energetic Romps" I have on my Ipod, while "Awake" surprises me with its story of nocturnal distraction. The album is characterized by warm lyrics and vocal contributions, excellent work from Juan Montero on the myriad instruments he plays, and tasty flashes of rollicking guitar. The resulting concoction is well-mixed, varied, and satisfying.
- By J. Evan Wade