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Don't It Make You Want To Go Home?

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  • Joe South's second proper album was perhaps just a tad less impressive than the more well-known Introspect, if only because that earlier LP had included "Games People Play," "Rose Garden," and some other songs that would be among the singer/songwriter's most enduring. Don't It Make You Want to Go Home? is a worthy follow-up, however, that also adeptly combines rootsy rock, pop, country, soul, gospel, and psychedelia into South's thoughtful songs, which ooze both interior reflection and empathetic concern for the world at large. The soulful, cheering "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" was the album's hit single, but there are other songs here of similar quality, like the bittersweet "Clock Up on the Wall," the straight-ahead soul love song "Shelter," and "Be a Believer," which has the anthemic exhortatory chin-up feel typical of much of South's work of the period. It's definitely an album of its time, as the occasional segues between tracks and trippy studio effects make clear. Indeed, there's one downright experimental track, "A Million Miles Away," a nearly instrumental gutbucket psychedelic blues groove under which some radio-like voices can just about be detected. Somehow the trendy accoutrements fit the mood fairly well instead of sounding like jarring misfires, though they might have ensured that South remained a little bit too idiosyncratic to maintain his short-lived commercial success. ~ Richie Unterberger
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