Picks and Pans Review: Songs from the Film

updated 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Tommy Keene

His pale blue eyes on the album cover, his white button-down shirt, his short haircut and even his name make Tommy Keene seem like a clean-cut, all-American boy. This is one case where appearances aren't deceiving. On Songs from the Film, Keene makes the kind of straightforward, simple, pretty pop music you'd expect. His folk-rock songs include pleasant mid-'60s-style harmonies and an easy mix of electric and acoustic guitars. One of his best tracks is Call on Me, a sweet tune about friendship. The album drags at times because Keene suffers from the dreaded nice guy's disease: He doesn't sound as if he's trying hard enough, perhaps because his vocal inflections span only the territory from placid to slightly concerned. He also needs to work harder on giving each song a distinctive sound so that they all don't blur into one. Meanwhile, Keene—if you run into him or his album—comes across as someone who would be an ideal addition to any dinner party, a guy who can establish an upbeat mood without stealing the show. (Geffen)

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