Tommy Keene | Behind the Parade

Second Motion Records (2011)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  August 30, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


For nearly 30 years Tommy Keene has been a go-to guy for fans of guitar-driven pop rock. He has been remarkably consistent, writing smart arrangements and lyrics over an alternating mix of jangling guitar and sturdy power chords — no one does that big, ringing rock-and-roll guitar chord better than Keene. That makes him a bit of a throwback, in a shrinking peer group with his onetime boss Paul Westerberg. Behind the Parade continues Keene's streak. There is a relentless drive to the songs, even — or perhaps especially — the ballads, like "Nowhere Drag" and "The Long Goodbye." The title track is a perfect distillation of Keene's talents. It makes your head bob from the very beginning, and declares its universal theme in the first line, "Everybody has lost a kiss/Everybody, everywhere you go." That's not to say there aren't a few departures here and there. There is the Burt Bacharach horn solo on track one, "Deep Six Saturday," which fits the song perfectly. Then there is the synth symphony in the middle of the album, "La Castana." If you were somehow to fall asleep during "Nowhere Drag" and wake up during "La Castana," you'd be pissed that someone sneaked into your room and switched out the record for Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason. But there is no mistaking, Parade is Keene at his best.

TOMMY KEENE + DOUG GILLARD + SALLY CREWE & THE SUDDEN MOVES + BOYFRIENDS | Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston | September 11 @ 8pm pm | $12 | 617-236-7600

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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Tommy Keene, Tommy Keene,  More more >
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