Tommy Keene - You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009
Another disciple of Alex Chilton to as horribly ignored as his idol, Tommy Keene has been making literate, wry, rocking power pop for over almost thirty years. He may remain obscure even after his overdue collection of (most of) his best tracks, but "You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009" is a staggering reminder of how consistently inventive and soulful his body of work has been. It is no stretch to say that many of these songs found their way into the hearts of Westerberg, Crenshaw, Stipe, Matthew Sweet and many a lesser known literate pop dreamer.
Early rockers are present, like "Places That Are Gone," "Big Blue Sky," Keene's cover of Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons." Also included are fan favorites such as "Based on Happy Times," "Good Thing Going," and "Never Really Been Gone." An acoustic version of "Black & White New York," along with newer classics like "Save This Harmony" and the stunning "Leave Your World Behind," round out a comprehensive overview that will satisfy all but the diehards, who will certainly carp about an omission or two.
If anyone deserves to have attributed to him the often used phrases "Unsung," "Criminally ignored," "In a perfect world he'd be famous," etc., it would be Tommy Keene. Spanning thirty years worth of smart, confident rockers and ballads of top quality and inspired grace, "You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009" is a must have for old fans and newbies who need to know this essential hidden gem of an artist.
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