It's one thing to have a musical career that's lasted more than a quarter-century. Impressive? Sure. Noteworthy? Not really -- plenty of popular artists have pulled it off by this point.
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It's quite another thing to have a musical career of comparative anonymity that lasts more than a quarter-century. When, by all accounts, you should have given up the dream long ago, but you just keep plugging away at it. Now that's an accomplishment. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Tommy Keene and his terrific new album, In the Late Bright.
A few of you will have heard of Keene's name and not confuse him with Coldplay wanna-bes (could there be a more derisive term?) Keane. Fewer still will have heard his music, fewer still will own some of his music and a very precious few -- the true believers, much like the man himself -- will own all his albums. For the latter, a new Tommy Keene album is cause for celebration. So let the party begin!
Pop music trends change faster than a high school freshman in a P.E. locker room for the first time. Tommy Keene has been making great guitar pop music since I was that high school freshman and he hasn't changed his formula in all that time. Why should he? He's already cooking with the best ingredients: ace melodies, ringing guitar hooks and indelible choruses in three minute packages. Perfect.
Earlier this month, I heard Nick Lowe say on Austin City Limits that he likes the same style of music now that he did when he first started making music (which was, gulp, the '60s for him). I feel the same way about Tommy Keene and his music. It was timeless in the '80s and it still is today. I loved it then and I love it now.