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Tommy Keene - Drowning

  by Andrew Carver

published: 15 / 8 / 2004

Tommy Keene - Drowning
Label: Not Lame
Format: CD


Impressive "Miscellany" of demos, unreleased songs and other versions of already released songs from under-rated power pop guitarist, Tommy Keene

Tommy Keene is a rock’n’roller with a wide sensitive streak. As a musician his path has crossed such luminaries as Civil War-loving power popper Richard X. Heyman, Jay Bennett (Wilco) and Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms); he’s also worked as a guitarist for performers like Paul Westerberg and Velvet Crush. It’s been 22 years since his first album, 'Strange Alliance', an energetic if simple slab of power pop. Since then he’s recorded for labels big (Geffen) and small (Matador, Parasol, Avenue and most recently spinArt). After such an extensive career, most artists would be more than ready to put out a “best of” – of course, with such a wide variety of labels under his belt, the licensing would probably be more of a headache than its worth; instead Keene has served up a "Miscellany" (sounds much nicer than “compilation,” doesn’t it?) – demos, unreleased songs, other versions of already released songs. Yes, 'Drowning' is a bit of an odds and sods collection – that it’s such a strong collection is a testament to Keene’s distinctive voice (a bit like a boyish Chris Bell), skill with a melody and interesting taste in guitar sounds. In addition to 19 originals and a Hollies cover – 'Carrie Ann' - you get some amusing liner notes from Keene, with a brief note on every tune. Some of the work is slightly dated - the synthesizer on 'There’s No One In This City' would only pass muster in the 1980's, and Keene justifiably razzes the electronic drums on 'Lover’s Lies' – but as the saying goes, good music is timeless, and anyone with a fondness for power pop who has yet to add one of Keene’s fine albums could do worse than to start here (his two Matador albums are also highly recommended).

Track Listing:-
1 Drowning
2 There's No One In This City
3 Tell Me Something
4 Karl Marx
5 When You Make Up Your Mind
6 You Won't Find Me
7 I'll Wait For You
8 Time To Say Goodbye
9 Where Have All Your Friends Gone (Demo)
10 A Wish Ago
11 Everything Is One Thing
12 Lover's Lies
13 Carrie Anne
14 What Does It Matter To You
15 Disarray
16 Soul Searching
17 Watch The World Go By
18 We'll Always Remain Just The Same
19 I Know It's Blue
20 The Scam And The Flim Flam Man

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