Song Of The Day

Matt Keating: Realpolitik Romance

An astute chronicler of human affairs at their most fragile, Matt Keating documents a relationship's unraveling in "Just About Now."

hide captionAn astute chronicler of human affairs at their most fragile, Matt Keating documents a relationship's unraveling in "Just About Now."

Courtesy of the artist

Monday's Pick

Song: "Just About Now"

Artist: Matt Keating

CD: Wrong Way Home

Genre: Rock

In a career spanning more than 20 years, Matt Keating has established himself as one of America's great under-the-radar songwriters. Had he emerged five decades back, he might have been a Tin Pan Alley stalwart, turning out intelligent, accessible songwriting with the clockwork genius of Carole King and Gary Goffin. His work is rife with the clever, incisive tunefulness that marked that era.

Keating has long been an astute chronicler of human affairs at their most fragile. In "Just About Now," the first track from Keating's new album Wrong Way Home, he presents a sardonic and knowing characterization of a troubled relationship as it unravels. In the chorus, he juxtaposes a lilting pop melody with a bitter slice of realpolitik romance: "It's just about now / when the endings usually start / It's just about now / when someone breaks somebody's heart." The tone is resigned yet wry, recalling Lorenz Hart in its shrugging recognition of the fatal divide between earnest love and personal limitations.

As the opening track of Wrong Way Home, "Just About Now" serves as a terrific table-setter for a frequently brilliant record. Keating has been this good for years; it's just about now that a larger audience ought to catch up with him.

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Song Of The Day