Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts on Keane's New Album

Yesterday, Keane came out with their new awaited album. I am already reading mixed reviews on Night Train, and I think frankly, I have mixed feelings about it myself.

Anyone who knows them knows they started out with Hopes and Fears in 04. Their bittersweet love songs were cast as ballads, and iTunes compared them to being known as similar to Coldplay. I didn't catch wind of their music until a few years later, but I loved that album and I still do - something about it made me learn all the words to those songs and sing my heart out to it in the car on long road trips. I love every single song, and as a whole, that doesn't happen often anymore. But back then, something struck a chord.

Under the Iron Sea was different, but still fairly awesome. With my recent gift card, I was finally able to purchase the album in it's entirety and listen to it a few times over. It's also quite good. But when things got down to Perfect Symmetry, and now Night Train, I am going to argue things have since gone downhill.

I know that artists change. Being held under one cast would be boring, it would suck for them, and only a few people would be happy in the end. I'm sure they didn't want to be seen as mush either - and I can understand that. But with the timely release of Night Train, I feel as if they have gone pop - just because everyone else has. There's a certain catchy electronic sound in today's pop that plays on all those top 50 hits stations nation-wide, and I feel as if many have adapted to that sound because they know it will sell. I will never know the truth. I will never know if Keane changed because of that, or just because they didn't want to be that mushy ballad band forever. Though there is one song on the album that sounds like a good throwback, "My Shadow," one song is a lonely tribute to what they used to be.

I probably sound like I'm mourning the comparative "corniness" they used to be, but really, I just miss the sound and the connection I had to that music. They are not any more unique now that they have changed, and I feel as if the album would have benefited from several different types of songs. Maybe a few more bittersweet love songs like Hopes and Fears, something dark like from Under the Iron Sea, and if they really want to seem current - a taste of that pop they mixed in the current release, even with some of K'naan's sounds.

I'd give it 2.5, mayve 3 stars. It could be worse, but it could be a lot better.

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