Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Songs From the Film
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
Tommy Keene was a young, indie-label-associated power-popper from the cusp of the South--the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to be exact--when he signed with Geffen and hooked up with former Beatles engineer and Elvis Costell... more »
Tommy Keene was a young, indie-label-associated power-popper from the cusp of the South--the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to be exact--when he signed with Geffen and hooked up with former Beatles engineer and Elvis Costello producer Geoff Emerick for 1986's Songs from the Film. The songwriter and roiling lead guitarist commenced to make one of the era's more sadly overlooked albums, belatedly issued on CD a dozen years on with a passel of EP and previously unreleased tracks added. Propulsion, tune, and heart come together gloriously on "Places That Are Gone," "Gold Town," "As Life Goes By" and "Back Again." --Rickey Wright
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1986 LP + 1988 EP = Brilliant reissue
Perry M. Koons | Crownsville, MD United States | 12/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am lucky enough to claim that I am from the same area as Tommy Keene, hell, I am even studying at the same school that he used as his stomping grounds during his days in pop band Razz (University of MD, College Park). After discovering the brilliant single "Places That Are Gone" on the Poptopia compliation, and finding out he was a local boy, I knew I would have to check out his music more. This was one of the 1st CD's I bought on Amazon and was definately blown away. Track for track it is perhaps the most consistent album of the 80's - I love every song but "Gold Town", which is really odd because that's one of his classics. The 1988 EP Run Now was tacked on for good measure - not quite as consistent but the title track may be my all time #1 Keene tune. The guitar tones are soaring and arena-worthy, but the earnest lyrics, punk energy, and sad vibes make Tommy more of a contemporary of the Replacements (who loved his work) and Game Theory (similar smart-pop) than your average 80's rock/pop act.Best Tracks:
"Places That Are Gone" - Keene's meal ticket that inexplicably never amounted to much, this song is power pop heaven. Great outro solo.
"Listen To Me" - I get a U2/Waterboys majestic vibe from this song, I love the lyrics throughout and the bass-only final verse.
"Paper Words And Lies" - Jangle pop par excellence, 2 minutes short but great hooks.
"My Mother Looked Like Marilyn Monroe" - Cryptic lyrics which are explained in the liner notes, the slow verse explodes into a typically great Keene chorus.
"Astronomy" - WOW. This song packs everything into 1 1/2 minutes without sounding the least bit hurried or too "punk", but it rocks intensely and features an amazing vocal performance.
"Run Now" - Basically the encapsulation of everything from the Songs From The Film CD. A full but sweet production, new wave-y shimmering guitars, great lyrics and vocals, and not one but two ultra-melodic guitar solos. Deserved to hit #1, but what do I know..."
Pure jangle-pop in the Big Star mold
Pop Kulcher | San Carlos, CA USA | 08/24/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pop Kulcher Review: Of all the jangle-pop artists snagging the ever-important comparison to Big Star, Washington D.C. singer/songwriter Tommy Keene is probably the most deserving -- his vocals are reminiscent of Alex Chilton, and the jangle-guitar-pop sound is in the same vein. (Plus he does a killer cover of Chilton's "Hey! Little Child" on another album.) 12 years after its initial release, Songs From The Film finally makes an appearance on cd. It's not a great album -- the clever lyrics often get lost in forgettable music, and Keene doesn't wield a pop hook quite as well as, say, Matthew Sweet. Still, this has plenty of catchy tunes (most notably "Places That Are Gone," an unforgettable pop gem, as wells as a dead-on cover of Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons"), and it belongs up there among releases by Matthew Sweet and the dB's for fans of the genre. Plus, the reissue tacks on plenty of bonus tracks, some of which ("Take Back Your Letters") fit in great alongside today's alt.country/Americana pantheon of Wilco, etc. Hard not to like."
Sweet & Sour Pure Pop
Perry M. Koons | 05/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1998 release--consisting of Keene's 1986 record, an earlier EP, and four
previously unreleased songs--brings together some the best work by an
under-appreciated veteran of the 1980s Washington, DC & Boston music scene. At times, the
singer-songwriter sounds as if he's directly channeling Alex Chilton. With ringing, trebly
guitars straight out of the Byrds and mid-period Beatles, Keene pumps out
straightforward songs that faithfully deliver the sweet and sour payoff of pure pop. This collection opens with a (superior) re-recording of "Places That Are Gone," an early
single and an archetype of Keene's winning combo of insistent melody and jangly
beauty. He's at his best when he's at his most vulnerable, as on "My Mother Looked
Like Marilyn Monroe" and "Paper Words and Lies," which boast soaring vocals and
gleaming guitars. The RUN NOW E.P. included here in its entirety, was a more no-frills
affair than the elaborate SONGS (produced by Geoff Emerick, whose ornate stylings
made Elvis Costello's IMPERIAL BEDROOM such a fascinating listen). The title track and
"Back Again," with its chiming vocal hook, are stirring outsider anthems."