Behind the Parade

Album Review of Behind the Parade by Tommy Keene.

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Behind the Parade

Tommy Keene

Behind the Parade by Tommy Keene

Release Date: Aug 30, 2011
Record label: Second Motion Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

74 Music Critic Score
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Behind the Parade - Very Good, Based on 4 Critics

AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

Tommy Keene has been making records for well over 25 years, but the vagaries of the music business have forced his career to run in bursts -- a couple albums for Geffen here, a few releases on Matador there -- which have had more to do with commercial considerations than the quality of his music or his desire to present it to his audience. Behind the Parade is Keene's third album since 2006, an impressive flow of material by his standards, and like its two immediate predecessors, it ranks with the best music of his career; this is tough, wiry, and passionate guitar-based rock & roll with a glorious pop melodic sense, built around the framework of Keene's excellent songwriting, his forceful and emotionally resonant vocals, and his heady electric guitar work, as exciting as anyone playing classic pop today. The fact that Keene's music is just as strong, engaging, and beautifully crafted today as it was in the late '80s says plenty in his favor, but it also reveals a great deal about his ideas and approach; at the risk of sounding pretentious, Keene's best music is timeless, and one of the reasons Behind the Parade is as powerful in 2011 as Songs from the Film was in 1986 is, because he's never stopped writing songs that deal with love, loss, and the universal building blocks of human emotions, and he plays them with sincerity and emotional force that have little do to with changing musical tides.

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Under The Radar - 70
Based on rating 7/10

Tommy Keene has been honing his craft for almost 30 years now, and in that time, he has established himself as one of the preeminent champions of power-pop working today. His ninth album, Behind the Parade, makes a further case for his continued reign on the genre, and further representation of the consistently stellar output he's been recording since the mid-'80s. .

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PopMatters - 70
Based on rating 7/10

As painful as it may now be for his loyal and unjustifiably small fan base to recall, there was once a time when a new Tommy Keene album every two or three years was not a strict guarantee. Back during the now-unimaginable time when an actual major label (Geffen) spent money and resources on Keene, an artist whose name is now destined to forever be accompanied by phrases like “criminally underrated”, “cult figure” or “American power pop icon”, records like Songs From The Film (1986) and Based On Happy Times (1989) were subjected to erratic releasing strategies as the bigwigs figured out how to mold and market an act who was as unglamorous as he was talented. Worse yet were the years that immediately followed his exit from Geffen, which resulted in a series of EPs and album releases culled from various, and often overlapping, sources that has left the early ‘90s portion of his discography looking like a labyrinthine mess.

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American Songwriter
Their review was positive

Tommy KeeneBehind The Parade(Second Motion){Rating: 4 stars] We have a tendency in this country to ignore our best pop songwriters while they’re in their prime and recording one shimmeringly-perfect album after another. Then, to make amends, when they die, we give them a eulogy fit for a war hero. This certainly was the scenario for the late, great Alex Chilton.

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