Magazine article The New Yorker

A Keene Sense of It

Magazine article The New Yorker

A Keene Sense of It

Article excerpt

Power pop is an ideal breeding ground for unsung heroes. The genre had a brief heyday in the mid- to late seventies, when songs with Beatlesque harmonies and spiky guitar crunch topped the chart thanks to bands like the Knack and the Romantics. Since then, plenty of stars have emerged, but only a few (Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne) ever shone brightly enough to be spotted from far away. Most prime practitioners have maintained only cult status, beloved to their fans, unknown to the rest of the music world.

Tommy Keene is one of the purest power-pop performers around, a songwriter whose muscular and melodic compositions reach back to bands like the Raspberries and, before that, the Who, and whose branches don't extend very far from the center. Since his debut, more than twenty-five years ago, Keene has plied his trade on more than ten albums, rarely with a significant dip in quality, and never with any major commercial success. His new career retrospective, "Tommy Keene You Hear Me" (Second Motion), despite its goofball title, makes a compelling case for Keene's enshrinement alongside luminaries like Richard X. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.