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Hopes And Fears
Interscope Records

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 of Britpop.

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)

Track Listing:

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
9. Sunshine
10. Untitled 1
11. Bedshaped

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