February 25, 2012
Keane return May 7 with Strangeland
Click to make giant so you can see Tim's very nice shoes.
My swoonpop favorite, Keane, returns on May 7 with Strangeland, their first full-length record since Perfect Symmetry in 2008. The band now feels, as I do, that an element of magic was lost on that album. In my opinion, it was the overdone arrangements - it was only when I listened to the Sugababes' take on Spiraling (play it) that I appreciated what a truly stunning song it was. This time the band - officially a foursome now - promises a big emotional sound like their debut, the perfect Hopes And Fears. Strangeland has 12 tracks, whittled down from about 19 recorded...
1. You Are Young
2. Silenced By The Night
3. Disconnected (live)
4. Watch How You Go
5. Sovereign Light Café (live)
6. On The Road
7. The Starting Line
8. Black Rain
9. Neon River
10. Day Will Come
11. In Your Own Time
12. Sea Fog
The first US single is Silenced By The Night. Rumors say there will be a deluxe edition with 4 bonus track and a box set version with the bonus tracks and a book. The album was produced with Dan Grech Marguerat who produced, among other things, the recent Penguin Prison album.
XO's Top Ten Plus One Keane Songs:
Your Eyes Open
One of my all-time favorite songs, ever. Reminds me of Ultravox's classic Reap The Wild Wind in its grandness and beauty. Tom Chaplin brought back the romantic male vocal.
We Might As Well Be Strangers
I was on a hotel bed in London when I first played this (on headphones). I love how the song explodes at minute two.
This Is The Last Time
Anyone who says "this is the last time" never means it, do they? It's only when they don't bother to say it that they actually follow through.
Leaving So Soon
This song reminds me of someone important to me for many years - someone who I now so utterly dislike that I hid from him when I recently ran into him for the first time in five years. "A slap in the face for you now," indeed.
The kind of chorus that appeals to many in its universal whynotme-ness.
The Frog Prince
One of the few songs on album two that matched the mood of their debut. Another song unafraid to wear its tender heart on its sleeve. Lovely middle eight.
A cringe-inducing lyric, I admit, but the song still works because you can't really hear the worst bits clearly. Knowing what we know now, it seems like a message from songwriter Tim Rice Oxley to singer Tom Chaplin.
Somewhere Only We Know
The Song Most Likely To. Everyone's covered this, the nicest version being Laura Michele Kelly's orchestral arrangement.
The band's first set of b-sides (for album 1) were as high quality as the album tracks and this is one the finest. Hard to pick the best one for this list...
This 2008 single was a bold attempt to push the boat out and try something new. It is distinctly Bowie-esque, but the lyric has the same emotional resonance as their debut. "Did you want to be in love?"
From the recent Night Train EP, this one has a vocal by Tim Rice Oxley, though it screams for a version with Tom on lead. It chugs along, but also has that ecstatic quality this band does so well. It should also be noted the final 30 seconds is like classic Madonna.
Want to revisit Keane? Do it at Grooveshark. And tell me what your favorite Keane songs are!