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Wednesday, June 07, 2006
  Is it any wonder?


so. Keane's new album.

oh, man. it's good.

i almost don't want to say it. why? because it's mainstream. because it's pop. because even though they sold 5 million copies of Hopes and Fears, they're cool enough to still be playing club shows, like the Axis on Lansdowne in a few weeks (no, we're not going, that sucker is beyond sold out). because: they're on Interscope. you know who's on Interscope? Will Smith.

i'm half kidding. Interscope has some good bands, like YYY's and Wolfmother and The Grates and Beck and... um... Jimmy Eat World... yep... oh, just go here if you want to argue with me about anyone else on the list.

back to my review - get ready for water imagery.

the glittery sail-away world of piano pop that they created with their debut LP comes back on Under The Iron Sea, only this time, you aren't so sure you want to take the ride. it's much darker - in no way is it an optimistic album - and you can feel it not only in the lyrics but in the melancholy tidal wave sound they're so famous for creating. the trio is amazing, as far as i'm concerned; with only a drummer, a keyboardist and a chillingly amazing vocalist, they manage to create an ocean of sound much bigger than themselves. on this sophomore release, the sound really is almost as heavy as the title suggests, and it's no small feat to stay afloat. i do recommend it, but with the caution that anyone with something to cry about better be ready with towels.

that isn't to say they don't bring back some of their original sun-on-the-water sparkle. on their single, Is It Any Wonder?, the lyrics may be suggesting something darker ("Is it any wonder I'm tired, is it any wonder that I feel uptight"), but that almost gets lost in the careening twisting turning sound that seems to flow circularly through your ears and curl into your brain. other songs, like Crystal Ball, or the beginning to Put It Behind You - those are still melancholy (can Tom Chaplin sing anything that isn't?), but their up-tempo breaks up other tear-jerkers like Try Again or eerie spine-tinglers like Broken Toy. the most classically Hopes and Fears-esque songs are Nothing In My Way and Leaving So Soon. regardless, all songs are amazing, and the breakdown of the album is possibly even better than the first. it's still just as much of a ride - you just need a healthy composition to hold on during this one.

buy it at Amazon now and it will ship to you when it comes out on June 20th.

::::in the meantime, here are some tracks to "whet" your appetite: (yes it's a god damn pun)
Keane - Is It Any Wonder?
Keane - Nothing In My Way
Keane - Try Again


Arjan wrote a piece on this record back on April 19th - I'd love to know where he got the album around then - but i suggest you go read it for the little interviewish touch. lucky bastard. i love Arjan and his stuff - he's always a great source.
 
Comments:
Lucky Europeans we are, the album was released here today. Have just listened to it twice, and it IS really good. Will put up some comments on my blog soon.

Cheers From Switzerland
Chris

btw.: I'll put you on my blogroll if that's ok with you. Feel free to do the same! ;)
 
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