Review of The Wave Album by Tom Chaplin

As the singer of Keane, Tom Chaplin will be a familiar voice to many, especially as the band's debut album reportedly sold over 5.5 million units.  His first solo release sees him step out of the song writing shadow of Tim Rice-Oxley, while the shows announced in support of this record are already sold out.

Tom Chaplin The Wave Album

When the singer of a band goes solo, the results can broadly be summarised in two categories: appease fans with similar output (and inevitable questions of why go it alone) or something artistically different that risks alienating followers.  'The Wave' sits firmly in the former, with the opening couplet of 'Still Waiting' and 'Hardened Heart' featuring the same radio-friendly, adult rock which worked so well for Keane.  'The River' is overly synth-reliant, while 'Worthless Words' is the sort of quaint, piano-led piece that detractors of the band slammed for lack of excitement.

Speaking of haters, knowing that 'Quicksand' is written for Chaplin's daughter will probably give them that sinking feeling (pun fully intended).  It is however, an affecting piece for any parent, warning of bad times ahead and not just a generic mushy dedication.  The upbeat 'Bring The Rain' has an infectious spring in its step, but the goodwill ends abruptly with the gospel choir of 'See It So Clear'.  There's nothing as ubiquitous as 'Bedshaped' or 'Somewhere Only We Know', but for fans of Keane who are struggling with their hiatus, this is the perfect stop-gap.

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