Keane’s ‘Strangeland’

13 May

It has been four years since Keane’ last full studio album, ‘Perfect Symmetry‘ in which they played with genres and gave their classic indie sound an electro-pop twist. The Sussex-born band have never had any troubles dominating the album charts with their previous, more traditional pieces so this development proved peculiar, but despite the change in style the band managed to maintain its fan base and hit high in album charts. Due to this success, one would expect the band to continue with this new sound, but their latest album, ‘Strangeland‘ carries on as if ‘Perfect Symmetry‘ never happened.

It is an album that goes back to the basics of the alternative scene; simplistic musical backgrounds merged with anthem-like choruses. ‘Strangeland‘ is a very uplifting but also a laid-back collection of tracks that proves quite a pleasure to listen to with it’s gentle sounds, steady rhythms and youthful melodies. There is hardly a synthetic sound in sight as the piano appears as the leading instrument accompanied by an energetic clash of guitars and bass with the controlled drums providing the swaying rhythms. Tom Chaplin’s voice adapts well in each song to give a stunning illustration of their diverse subject-matters. The display of vocal control is often touching and gentle; lacking any overwhelming charisma as there is absolute balance.

Silenced By The Night‘ and ‘Disconnected‘ were the two singles taken to promote the album. Both show the upbeat and joyful side of the album, giving emphasise to the anthem-like vibe. The first is a very bouncy piece with the vocals, unfortunately, being drowned by the heavy music backdrop. It is led by a light-footed piano sequence and built upon with clash of fierce drum beats, giving it a very powerful effect that succeeds in during a listener into the song. The latter tones down the light-hearted notes, sounding a little more haunting in comparison. It is much more controlled and steady, but no less effective as the bouncy beat is hard to escape.

The album is built up by songs like these two songs, some being potential live anthems and others slowed down for a gentler effect. I highly recommend the album for there are some real gems upon it as well as a great display of more authentic musical talent that seems to be missing from the current charts. Check out the single ‘Silenced By The Night‘ below!

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