Keep This Love Goin’

Clang! / Big Notes

Happy Happy! Joy Joy! That’s how you feel after singing thought lighthearted Zydeco tune “Boozoo and Leona” that opens this fun and frothy collection from musical stalwarts NRBQ. Of course, you never know what you’ll hear on their discs; they touch on more styles than a college radio station. Their unifying thread is Terry Adams’ vocals and bouncy keyboards. If you had to stick a push pin in their style, I’d go for alt indie pop – Adams is the master of the unexpected hook and he rarely diverts from the positive prickle of love. “Here I Am” replicates what The Monkees would sound like today if they never aged, “Gone With the Wind” carries a slight dissonant harmony that mixes Rat Pack cool and ’60s Broadway flair, and there’s a bunch of guys singing on a street corner harmonizing “Sweet and Petite.” It takes musical cojones to cover this much territory without some hokey unifying theme. Adams’ back up can’t be beat – Scott Ligon sings back up and hits the guitar and bass, while Pete Donnelly plays bass and guitar and sings back up. Wait… Isn’t that redundant? I suppose, but by “In Every Dream,” there’s a country beat ricocheting off a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. All this stylistic mash up is hitting me like a bag of Halloween candy; I don’t know what to taste next, the They Might Be Giants-influenced “Animal Life” or the Hank Williams honky tonk “Red’s Piano.” Somewhere there’s a track you’ll fall in love with, and nowhere will you find one you just can’t stand. This is good clean fun, wear a white shirt and freshly pressed chinos while you enjoy. I can’t wait for these guys to take a stab at Swedish death metal; I’ll bet they could get your umlauts dancing.

NRBQ: • Terry Adams:

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