Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A well-done and welcome retrospective.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A well-done and welcome retrospective of a talented guitarist/singer/songwriter, The Real Underground boasts 23 tracks, all of which are currently out of print in their original packaging or previously unreleased. This is a great collection, but does not include anything from the two fine albums Keene made for Geffen, or the excellent tracks that company released on the Run Now EP. Regardless, fans will delight in having the outstanding Dolphin EP Places That Are Gone in its entirety, as well as singles and previously unreleased demos from 1982-92. Some of the fun in those unreleased tracks comes from great covers, such as the Who's "Tattoo" and the Flamin' Groovies' "Shake Some Action." - Jack Leaver, AllMusic.com"
4 1/2 Stars: Excellent Collection, But Not A "Best Of"
D.C. Hanoy | Athens, Georgia | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many other talented American power pop energizers, Tommy Keene has neither lost faith in the magic of brash/sensitive tuneful music or enjoyed any appreciable commercial success from it. A versatile guitarist, gifted songwriter and appealing singer, the Bethesda, Maryland native graduated from Washington DC's new wave Razz. He went solo at the start of the '80s and has been releasing sterling records on and off ever since. An underappreciated member of the Southeastern fraternity that numbers Matthew Sweet, Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Don Dixon, Tim Lee, and Mitch Easter, Keene spent some '90s time on the road in Velvet Crush, but returned to his own career in mid-decade.
The Real Underground looks like a Keene best-of but isn't. The album draws from only two previous records, and is predominantly made up of otherwise unreleased tunes. In addition to all six songs from Places That Are Gone and the two studio numbers on Back Again (Try...), this 23-song collection includes top-quality leftovers of various vintages, including outtakes from the five-song Sleeping on a Roller Coaster. (The informative and enthusiastic liner notes don't precisely detail the material's sources, but given Keene's modest and steady approach over the years, it hardly matters.) Highlights include "Places That Are Gone," "The Real Underground," "Mr. Roland," "Dull Afternoon," "Hey Man," the Who's "Tattoo" (sung over solo guitar) and a precise full band re-creation of the Flamin Groovies' "Shake Some Action." - Ira Robbins/Jim Green, Trouser Press