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Robert Earl Keen – What I Really Mean

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Robert Earl Keen - What I Really Mean

Robert Earl Keen - What I Really Mean

The Bottom Line

"What I Really Mean" is a welcomed addition to the Robert Earl Keen catalogue. It's a record filled with great songs (even a couple that could be mainstream hits if given the chance) that get better with repeated listening. Robert Earl Keen is a master at what he does and one of the best who's recording in Texas.
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  • "What I Really Mean"
  • "For Love"
  • "Broken End Of Love"


  • Some songs don't work as well as others do.


  • 10 of 11 songs written by Robert Earl Keen.
  • Produced by Rich Brotherton.
  • Released by Rosetta/Koch Records Nashville.

Guide Review - Robert Earl Keen – What I Really Mean

There are few artists who have inspired a whole generation of musicians that followed them. Robert Earl Keen is one of those artists. The chief pioneer of the "red dirt" (or alternative country) movement of the 1990's, Robert Earl Keen is a revered for his simple songs that tell the story of Texas' best and worst characters. He writes narrative stories along with witty tracks that showcase his playful side.

"What I Really Mean" is Robert Earl's 12th album and it's also one of his finest. Lead-off track "For Love" weaves a story around the way love makes us do crazy things and sometimes how that love turns out to be redemption from God at the end of life. "Mr. Wolf And Mamabear" is an interesting story song full of classic Keen imagery while the title track and hit track "What I Really Mean," which features Danny Barnes on Banjo, finds a man who is traveling and enjoying life but he still misses his lady he left behind. "The Wild Ones" finds Robert Earl singing about "the one that got away." "Broken End Of Love" is the most upbeat sounding break-up song you'll ever find.

Somehow, throughout the years, Robert Earl Keen has managed to move with the times and often sets what is popular in the "alternative country" scene with his crafty songs. There isn't a better person out there who writes and sings songs the way he does. Each song on "What I Really Mean" tell a story and that's all you can ask from a great songwriter.

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