Keane have marked ten years of success with the inevitable release of their 'Best Of' collection; an 18-track, five-album spanning compilation from one of the most unsuspecting success stories of recent years. Featuring new singles 'Higher Than The Sun' and 'Won't Be Broken', the band look to the past for the majority of the album, but also hint at their future on their 'Best of'; whilst normally a sign of the end, Keane might have a few tricks up their sleeves still to come.
As someone who has never understood the appeal of Keane, their 'Best of' was never really going to change my opinion of the band and, indeed, this turned out to be the case. Still, Keane are a band with a fan base that genuinely stretches across the world and the album will be making its way on more than a few lists for Santa, so even for someone who isn't a fan, there is stuff on the album to at least appreciate, right?
As clichéd as it sounds, Keane are one of those bands that can't be defined by one genre. It's not really poppy enough to be classed as pop, not rocky enough to be rock, not electronic enough to be acid house and this is probably where most of their appeal lies. That middle of the road, slightly interesting, mid-afternoon background music that can please mum and dad, and maybe even the kids too. Their broad appeal speaks volumes to their enduring success and, with five consecutive UK number one albums and every honour Q Magazine could possibly throw at them (quite literally), this has shown since they burst on the scene in the early 2000s.
As far as 'Best of' compilations go, Keane's is as all-encompassing as any fan could hope, featuring all the fan favourites you'd expect to see. 'Everybody's Changing', 'Somewhere Only We Know', 'Is It Any Wonder', 'Crystal Ball'. the list goes on. There are also two new tracks here in the shape of 'Higher Than The Sun' and 'Won't Be Broken'; two songs that milk that ever-popular formula they've been using so well over the years even further.
The Keane faithful will gladly welcome 'Higher Than the Sun' with its steady rise into an anthemic chorus, pianos and nasal vocals running amok. 'Won't Be Broken' takes much more from their later releases, employing some smooth synth lines under Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes and Jesse Quin's respective efforts. Both are prototypical Keane songs.
This is a quintessential collection of Keane's work and, at 18 tracks in length, it covers each base with relative ease and even the most thorough of Keane fans would struggle to disagree with the song choices. 'The Best of Keane' is for the most ardent of Keane fans wanting to complete their collection and will also serve as a great starting point for those who have only ever paid the band a passing listen and been impressed with what they heard.
For Keane fans (any mums out there) - 5/5
For non-Keane fans - 2/5
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