Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crashing The Ether

Listening to these albums in order, it's amazing how little Tommy Keene's sound has changed over the years. His recording career has spanned three decades, but the albums have very few trappings of the times. The quality ebbs and flows a little, but everything sounds like a Tommy Keene album.

With that, I thought Crashing The Ether was a welcome return to form after the semi lull of Tommy's two previous albums. He recorded it at his home studio, playing everything except drums himself, but it sounds just as fully realized as his best full band recordings. He might need an editor, because a few of the songs are a bit overlong, but the playing and songwriting is all top notch.

Tommy put out a collaboration with Robert Pollard called Blues And Boogie Shoes a few months after the release of Crashing The Ether that sounds like the Robert Pollard singing new lyrics over CTE backing tracks. As a listening experience, it's kind of up and down, but "Death Of The Party" may be one of the best RP or TK songs of the last decade.

Could that backing track be anyone but Tommy Keene?

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