Tommy Keene

Excitement at Your Feet: The Tommy Keene Covers Album

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Tommy Keene lifts the phrase "Excitement at Your Feet" from the Who's "See Me, Feel Me" but chooses not to sing the song on his 2013 collection of covers, which gives a pretty good idea about the entire project (he does dig up the deep cut "Much Too Much," which is buried on the Who's mod 1965 debut My Generation). Keene is a connoisseur of pop, raised on the British Invasion and Big Star, adhering to the gospel of big hooks and crisp, jangling guitars anchored by explosive rhythms and churning power chords. Excitement at Your Feet branches beyond this simple template, as Keene takes the time to delve into the churning melancholy of the Bee Gees' "Laugh in Your Face" and Big Star's "Nighttime," not to mention the stark breeze of Donovan's "Catch the Wind," but this, like so many other covers albums, is very much a celebratory experience. Keene doesn't bother to wildly rework the songs, choosing to stick with guitar-heavy arrangements that feel kinetic and alive even when they're laden with overdubs, and this is a shift in aesthetic only for Roxy Music's arch, glam rock "Out of the Blue." Elsewhere, the heavy dose of guitars and harmonies feels of piece with Keene's work and his inspirations, but he's not too reverent. He enjoys this music too much to be a purist, treating Television's "Guiding Light" as if it was a garage rocker and Guided by Voices' "Choking Tara" as if it was a pop classic, and this open-hearted sensibility ties together these 11 songs, turning Excitement at Your Feet into a cohesive work that stands as a testament to Keene's good taste, inspiration, and skills as a rocker.

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