Hopes and Fears
bears that 2004 nostalgia on some parts but largely I find it boring. Back loaded too, with Untitled 1 and especially Bedshaped being its best tracks. Bedshaped might just be one of my favourite songs of the mid 2000s, actually. Shame the rest of the album, for the most part, does little for me.
If that album was their Parachutes
, then Under the Iron Sea
(or Under the Ironing Board
as I prefer to call it, thanks Dimitri Mishkin) dementedly studies A Rush of Blood to the Head
to begin with, albeit with the hindsight of X&Y
to make them splash with the electronics a bit more. "Atlantic" is "Politik", with that relatively aggressive yearning first half giving way to a sudden epiphany of a gorgeous second half. As "Politik" was Coldplay's best song up to that point, the same applies for Keane with "Atlantic". Then just like A Rush of Blood
's second song was the snappy lead off single, there's the U2-shaped "Is It Any Wonder?" A lot was made of Keane not having guitars but that wah wah keyboard intro is basically the Edge on "Even Better than the Real Thing," and all the better for it.
Moving that electronic sound into day-glo 80s territory, Perfect Symmetry
was nice and underrated, bearing those Talking Heads and Scary Monsters
influences in flattering enough ways, but it is dominated by the delightfully hooky, technicolour career highlight "Spiralling", a song so fantastic and yet hideously underrated for the simple fact it was by Keane. Miles better than anything MGMT were doing in this period.
I don't even remember beside the quite okay K'Naan collaboration "Stop for a Minute" and the hoo-hah about an EP reaching #1 in the albums chart. As each successive Keane album so far had seen a third of sales decrease, they, god, "went back to their roots" or whatever on that 2012 album and predictably it sold even less than the previous albums, catering only to the fanbase. Then there was the best of album that, commercially speaking, leaned way too heavily on Under the Ironing Board
while virtually ignoring the next few releases in comparison.
Tom's solo career I haven't heard but a Christmas album so soon into his life..?