September 7, 2006

Keane's Under the Iron Sea

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Touted as a huge departure from their freshman album, Hopes and Fears, Keane’s latest endeavor is a bit darker, but the piano-rock style still prevails. The Britpop darlings matured with this concept album, successfully evoking the title’s sense of not being able to escape through the surface. On the keyboard-heavy opening minute of the first track, appropriately named “Atlantic,” and later the instrumental “The Iron Sea,” Tim Rice-Oxley captures the serene wistfulness of drowning. However, the themes of this album, especially displeasure of Britain’s involvement in Iraq, distinguish Keane from their peers in the British rock scene, as do their harmonies and expert use of double-tracking. “Crystal Ball” is akin Coldplay’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Lead vocalist Tom Chaplin sings “Lines ever more unclear/ I’m not sure I’m even here/ The more I look the more I think that I’m starting to disappear,” while the cover of Coldplay’s album literally depicts a man’s face disappearing.