Following the pop-infused Black and White, the band wished to return to their roots and record an album that they were truly happy with. They called upon T-Bone Burnett (producer of their debut album) to work with them once again and began tracking in a rented storefront. The album was more acoustic and laid-back with Neumann and Llanas playing many of the instruments themselves. In 1996, "Closer to Free" was selected as the theme song to the TV series Party of Five. It was subsequently re-released as a single and became the band's biggest hit.
Music critic William Ruhlmann, writing for AllMusic, wrote that the album "may have been the statement of a band that had been through a lot and reached a point of emotional exhaustion, but the BoDeans used their experience to craft their most deeply felt and satisfying music." Likewise, Thom Jurek of Rolling Stone stated: "Go Slow Down reveals the BoDeans in firm control of their musical vision" and "is perhaps the finest album to date by a band that keeps on growing. With any justice, it should make the BoDeans more than critics' favorites."