For his latest album, 12, Keller Williams employs a fairly straightforward concept: 12 songs, one from each of his 11 albums and one previously unreleased track. It’s a neat twist on the “greatest hits” concept, a unique approach that should be no surprise to fans of the eccentric musician.
These 12 aren’t exactly his best songs, and they fail to provide an accurate representation of Keller’s many talents. Sure, there’s plenty of easygoing groove—especially on career bookends “Turn In Difference,” from Freek (1994), and “People Watchin’,” from Dream (2007)—as with any of his recordings. But along with the tunes we’ve come to know and love—“Freeker by the Speaker,” “Breathe”—there are a few clunkers, including “Anyhow Anyway” (a poor-man’s Paul Simon track), the gimmicky “More Than a Little” and “Butt Sweat,” a jazz-fusion bastard gone horribly awry.
I’ll always be a fan, but Keller comes up short here—he probably should have gone back into the studio and produced a solid follow-up to his enjoyable Dream of 2007. And what’s a Keller retrospective without “Best Feeling?”