Music

The Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma - "Going Home" ft. Abigail Washburn

Yo-Yo Ma teams up once again with the Silk Road Ensemble and adds Abigail Washburn to the mix to create an absolutely exquisite blend of styles and cultures.

Chris Ingalls: National treasure Yo-Yo Ma teams up once again with the Silk Road Ensemble and adds vocalist and banjo player Abigail Washburn to the mix to create an absolutely exquisite blend of styles and cultures. Part bluegrass, part traditional Chinese, part Celtic -- the mixture sounds mind-boggling and overly busy on paper, but it translates to sheer beauty thanks to the wealth of talent involved. The song takes its time through a variety of instrumentation and vocals (all nicely separated in the mix), and the unhurried approach allows everything to breathe magnificently. I could listen to this all day. [10/10]

Emmanuel Elone: If there was ever a soundtrack to Heaven, "Going Home" would be it. Everything about it, from Yo-Yo Ma's masterful cello to delicately picked banjo create a feeling of pure joy and ecstasy that very few songs can match. The singing is as light and airy as the instrumentation, while the violin and wind ensemble glisten and shimmer. "Going Home" can feel a bit too clean and sterile at times, but that doesn't take away from the gorgeous performances by some truly masterful musicians. [7/10]

Chad Miller: A beautiful piece.The track does a really good job establishing multiple emotions with the piece. The whole song has a sense of longing attached to it but also one of appreciation. A lot of this is the result of the lush orchestral setting and the expressive vocals. [7/10]

John Tryneski: One the one hand, I have to respect what Yo-Yo Ma has done with his career. Using his remarkable talent to bring classical music to wider audiences as well as non-western music to greater exposure is undeniably a noble quest. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to get real excited about the latest offering from the acceptable edge of cello-based classical folk. "Going Home" is a gorgeous ballad that Abigail Washburn clearly pours her heart into and you can't help but appreciate care and craftmanship here (not to mention whatever that really cool looking wind instrument is). Still, between the sonorous cello lines and the oh-so-tasteful presentation it's hard for me to hear anything but nice, unobjectionable background music for my next trip to my parents' house. [6/10]

Pryor Stroud: A tragedy of multiple worlds and lovers exiled among them, "Going Home" traces the psychic symptoms of homesickness through measured string orchestration and trembling, heart-wrenched vocals. There are moments when the lyric dissipates -- or, perhaps, just hides from view -- and you are left with nothing but a passion of strings: graceful and warm, yet tinged with an unshakeable sadness, these strings offer a hope that only intensifies with each successive reason to despair that emerges. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.40

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