Keane is a band with a unique sense of ambition. To record
an entire album of enjoyable and well-written songs, release it
and garner acclaim in the arena of Britpop is hard enough for
a young band. But, to attempt that sort of music industry trickery
with no guitarist
Now, that takes some serious guts. And
furthermore, to do it so incredibly well that there are times
when I don't even miss the guitars
That is also a huge feat.
Keane is a three-piece band consisting of vocalist, drummer, and
piano player. Tell me that doesn't take some serious musical confidence
in these days of guitar-centric rock music.
Hopes and Fears is packed with the kind of songs that
fit into so many different listening circles, that it could be
considered a sort of Britpop musical catch-all. Throwing off the
recent trends towards all Brit bands sounding derivative of other
Brit bands of late, Keane instead draws their sound from Brit
bands from days past. There are moments on this record where I
am reminded more of Freddy Mercury than Chris Martin.
And there are times when a young David Gahan jumps to mind.
But the thing that sets Tom Chaplin's voice apart from
most of his contemporaries is the pure clarity and brilliance
of his delivery. Songs like "Your Eyes Open" and "This
Is The Last Time" are superior examples of the power and
freshness of Chaplin's vocalizations, which is never sloppy, always
distinct in enunciation, and always very emotionally evocative.
The music is crisp, full of dynamics, and at times strangely comfortingly
operatic. "She Has No Time" is a great melodic and melancholic
track that will lift your spirits as easily as it will bring a
tear to your eye. Album opener "Somewhere Only We Know"
is a rocking track, which proves without a doubt that this band
has the wherewithal to be a defining voice in the newest wave
So move over, Coldplay and all the bands that sound
just like them. We've found something better. It has a name
-L. Keane (no relation)
1. Somewhere Only We Know
2. This Is The Last Time
3. Bend And Break
4. We Might As Well Be Strangers
5. Everybody's Changing
6. Your Eyes Open
7. She Has No Time
8. Can't Stop Now
10. Untitled 1
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