Pat Green's new album Home begins with a strong statement. It's not quite an apology, but the title track is definitely meant for the longtime fans who've been waiting years for this Texan to release new, original music.

"Home" reaffirms Green's commitment to those fans while taking a couple of not-so-subtle swipes at the Music City business model he left behind. "I was a slave to the master / Treated me like a bastard / Kept me away to loo song / But I finally found my way home," he sings on one of this album's standout tracks.

There are several of those. "Girls From Texas" is a cleverly-penned love song to women of the Lone Star State, and "Right Now" finds an unlikely collaborator in Sheryl Crow. Their voices mix like Coke and grenadine — more from the two of them on future projects wouldn't be awful.

Great albums have great songs, and "While I Was Away" is a great song. Give credit to writer Zane Williams for penning this detailed letter to dads and the kids they have to leave behind to go to work. Green sings it like he lives it (he does), but the message will resonate deep with anyone whose heart is beating. "While I Was Away" is truly one of the best of 2015.

Throughout Home, Green varies his delivery and production styles to prevent any two songs from sounding alike. Rock, zydeco, traditional country and blues are a few sounds he samples subtly, but there's a thread that runs across the 13-song album. Now 10 albums into an iconic career, Green has mastered the art of the album, and on Home, he provides nearly an hour of easy listening.

Key Tracks: "Home," "Girls From Texas," "While I Was Away," "I Go Back to You."

Famous Friends: Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, Delbert McClinton, Lee Roy Parnell and Marc Broussard all appear on Home.

Did You Know?: Home is Pat Green's first album of originals since What I'm For in 2009.

The Best Album of 2015? It's Obvious, Isn't It?

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