Review of Strangeland Album by Keane

East Sussex's Keane have released their fourth album and first since 2008's 'Perfect Symmetry', which saw a departure from their usual sound to an electro-pop style. A summer of touring is soon to begin with a UK leg, before North America is visited and then a return to home shores for the V Festival.

Keane Strangeland Album

The headline that emanates straight from the off is that a safe, back-to-basics approach has very much been adopted after the departures of the previous record. Fans who may have felt alienated can be reassured that Tim Rice-Oxley's melodic piano riffs are the backbone to the likes of 'Silenced By The Night', an assured choice for lead single, and opener 'You Are Young'. 'Disconnected' is further evidence that the piano ballad is a band speciality, whilst 'The Starting Line' and 'Watch How You Go' will have mobile phones swaying at live performances. Blander offerings are to be found in the shape of 'In Your Own Time' and 'Sovereign Light Café', whilst 'Black Rain' is simply induces yawns. 'On The Road' is the only real acknowledgement of the evolution of the previous record, providing a successful change to a more upbeat tempo, but 'Sea Fog' ends proceedings in the most turgid of manners. The attempt to reconnect with their original fans couldn't be any more obvious and the evidence here is that this should be achieved, though whether or not the sales figures match those of the massive 'Hopes And Fears' remains to be seen.

Alex Lai

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