Keller Williams' Odd Karmic Quest
Another tribute to the genius of individuality, Keller Williams' 2009 release, Odd, wraps the door of mainstream music mindsets and, where not invited in, kicks the dust off its shoes when it leaves.
A 12-track recording, Keller's genre splicing technique makes resisting the movement of limbs difficult. Odd is introduced with a swift drum and bass foundation, which develops a number of floating digital melodies. The opening track, "Environmental Song," blends the upbeat high energy sound with complementing vocal harmonies and drifting desert winds created by Keller's masterful use of the guitar slide.
Consistent with Keller's hand hewn style of ambient downbeat interludes within songs, he reaches to three corners of the globe to create a lively, comical and serious record, including an Afro-beat synthesizer homage to Fela Kuti "Song for Fela," piano bar jazz in "Warning" a heavy hallucinating southern folk ballad in "Elephorse" and, perhaps, the center of his working fans' worlds, "Day at the Office."
The list goes on as Keller reveals a shark's grin "Spartan darn it" to rebuke a show promoter whose name rhymes with the title, craftily avoiding libel contagion.
Simple, philosophical, and always eclectic, Odd is the sum of 12 consecutive weeks of previously unreleased tracks that Keller placed on his Web site ( http://www.kellerwilliams.net) a week at a time for fans to buy as he organized the record. With each new release, Williams included commentary on the origins and reasons for including the tracks in Odd. Weekly tracks released since the album's August 2009 release can be purchased directly as Williams' music progresses.
Keller's ease of speech within his songs continues to define itself from his previous records, and, with talent, he takes listeners on journeys.
A few from Odd include "Warning," Keller's karmic duty to warn naive rodents and birds of the dangers inherent when living near his home.
In the vein of sleep-deprived revelry, "Elephorse" tells of a globe trotting journey on the back of a tsunami that takes a dive into Pacific Hell, where salvation from the Lord of the Flies is found through a beast spawn of horse and elephant.
Delirious monologue aside, "Spartan darn it" sends a clear message to other musicians that dealing with a slick music man whose name rhymes with the title could end badly, though hoodwinked Keller extends hope of reparation through an overnight money transfer.
But the easy breeze of Odd has its detriments. Computer generated drumming and atmospheric sound looping give some tracks a diluted novelty. Keller's variety of sound keeps the music fresh, and his often simple lyrics ensure their staying power. Give the record a try and you're likely to be repeating Keller's hypnotic art throughout the day.