FROM: BATTLE, ENGLAND
SOUND: ALT ROCK / ALT POP / POP ROCK
For Keane's fourth studio album, they worked with producer Dan Grech to put together 'Strangeland', whose work includes Radiohead, Lana del Rey and The Vaccines. It's also the first album that bassist, Jesse Quin has worked on as a permanent member of the band.
There's something reassuringly familiar about this album - it probably has the closest sound and feel to their most successful album, 'Hopes and Fears'. Keane's songwriter, Tim Rice-Oxley, has once again allowed the lyrics to dominate the album's sound. Simplicity and visual imagery are key to the return of Keane's roots for 'Strangeland'.
The themes throughout this album are consistently pessimistic - from the love-is-lost 'Disconnected' (the new and somewhat disturbing video clip for which can be found on this page), to the tale of life at standstill in 'Neon River', to the reminiscent 'Sovereign Light Cafe' - the beauty of 'Strangeland' certainly lies in its ability to use emotion and nostalgia to its advantage.
There's something reassuringly familiar about this album - it probably has the closest sound and feel to their most successful album, 'Hopes and Fears'.
The truly enjoyable parts of 'Strangeland' are those which remind me of the classic Keane. The tracks 'Disconnected', 'On The Road' and 'Silenced By The Night' take me back - the band's luscious piano, courtesy of Tim, creates the backbone for this album, and Tom Chaplin's dynamic and vibrant vocals truly give Keane its distinctive edge.
Keane has always had great success on the charts with their past albums (all three albums and the EP hitting #1 in the UK), and considering the time and care they've taken putting 'Strangeland' togather, look to have another hit on their hands.
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