It’s country twang, it’s county fairs; It’s easy to say the record fits right smack into the middle of the country music genre - like a hitch in yer giddy-up. A very happy-go-lucky dude, Keen mixes hillbilly boogie with bluegrass, honkeytonk, folk and pop/rock for a well-rounded album.

Keen’s first record in four years comes flooded with messages cynically speaking to society’s innovation with “Wireless in Heaven” and sentimentally speaking to how lazy he is in “Something I do,” a pretty hillbilly song with loosey-goosey reggae undertones. Even though he’s covering Townes Van Zandt’s “Flying Shoes” on track two, and even though he’s drumming up plenty of twang for it, it feels like innocent twang – when Van Zandt’s more whiskey garbled, smoky twang steals that show. Musically we’ve definitely got talent, while substantially, it’s lacking a bit.

Grade: B



The Rose Hotel is currently available.