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Perfect Symmetry Enhanced


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Keane - Strangeland

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As problems go, this is among the nicer ones. Tim Rice-Oxley clicks a playlist on his computer. This is where all the contenders for the final tracklisting of Keane’s new album sit in quarantine. Over the past few months, band members have made the case for their favourites; friends have chipped in with their opinions. But, as the band gather round Tim’s computer, another click ... Read more in Amazon's Keane Store

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Perfect Symmetry + Under the Iron Sea + Strangeland
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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Oct 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B001GF7W2C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,023 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Spiralling
2. The Lovers Are Losing
3. Better Than This
4. You Haven't Told Me Anything
5. Perfect Symmetry
6. You Don't See Me
7. Again & Again
8. Playing Along
9. Pretend That You're Alone
10. Black Burning Heart
11. Love Is The End
12. SPLASH SCREEN

Product Description

Product Description

Keane Perfect Symmetry

Amazon.co.uk

Would it be outlandish to suggest that wholesome rugby-shouldered ruddy-faced English piano-pop boys Keane have spent the best part of their two-album career fanning the impression that they exist somewhere between an easy Mothers’ Day gift and the album it’s ok to give your girlfriend back when you split up, just in order to blow everyone out of the water like 80s neon-pop commandos with the boldness of their third? You know, utilising the element of surprise? Probably, but even though their debut (Hopes & Fears) and its follow up (Under the Iron Sea) may have been broader creative successes than many care to admit, it is true that Perfect Symmetry is a synth-brandishing Tyrannosaurus Rex next to those trundlingly melodic Trojan horses. From the moment "Spiralling", the single that made a nation choke on its Yakult, erupts like a Top of the Pops volcano with flashes of David Bowie, Talking Heads, Erasure, Prefab Sprout and James, amongst others--with the "WHOOOO!" interjections impacting like lava hitting an LA swimming pool and sending cocktails flying--the album is generally as taut, bulky and bronzed as a teen Arnold Schwarzenegger. Old habits die hard and there is still much in the way mid-paced melancholy, but they are sung with clarity and the songwriting stays tight with some deep lyrics and turns of phrase to balance out the vague and which presumably reflect Tom Chaplin’s documented decent into addiction. "Playing Along", a beautifully arranged set of textures and gathering emotional bursts, is a particular high. --James Berry

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Yam on 5 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD
Perfect Symmetry moves Keane firmly out of the background and into the foreground.

A perfect blend of the few high tempo hits from `Under the Iron Sea' and the more relaxing ballad's of `Hopes and Fears'.

Almost a perfect album starting with the potential hits (Spiralling, Lovers are Losing and Better Than This.) followed by a string of complementary tracks; ending with a run of three very different, but wonderful tracks.

The title track `Perfect Symmetry' demonstrates perfectly how each element of the Band has evolved from the last album. Much has been made of the inclusion of the guitar, but its Tom's vocals that define the Music of Keane. If you are in doubt, listen to the demo tracks on the 2-disc edition.

The album has the overall feel of being `Very 80's' in tempo and while the music is still based around the piano, there is more integration between the drums, guitar and computerised samples.

The only thing preventing me giving this album 5 star is the slightly disjointed middle section.

`Again and Again' lifts the mood after the nice heart-felt ballad `You Don't See Me'. But the flow is again broken by the only disappointing track on the album `Playing Along' which, should have been replaced by the Bands other new slow tempo b-side/bonus track called 'My Shadow' or maybe a studio version of Early Winter.

But don't worry, the final three tracks provides the perfect ending, culminating with `Love Is the End'.

It must also be noted that the single version of `Spiralling' differs very slightly to the album version.

It's not Keane as we know them, but yet distinct and different enough to fill another gap in the market.

Anyone who enjoyed 'All the Lost Souls' by James Blunt should consider this,
as should any followers of The Killers, who are discontented by 'Day and Age'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Mar 2009
Format: Audio CD
Contrary to the ads on TV and the comments of some critics, this album is not a "stunning reinvention"...

I have always held a certain fondness for the music of Keane. They have been mocked for their looks, and for being upper class, and the singer's spell in rehab was scorned by many (the comment that he was in there for an addiction to port was a sick joke) but their music has almost always been solid and enjoyable, and when they play live they are surprisingly good as I found out earlier this year.

For some reason, Keane changed their sound with this album. Some of the tracks hark back to the 1980s, and one appears to sample David Bowie, and for me it doesn't really seem to work that well. Don't get me wrong - there are some great tracks here, such as "Spiralling", "The Lovers Are Losing", "Perfect Symmetry" and "Again and Again" really seem to work - but then others have jarring sounds and elements that are almost a step too far from a successful formula. As an album it's alright, but not the masterwork some have made it out to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Jenkins on 18 Aug 2009
Format: Audio CD
I think it's testament to the continuing power of tastemakers in the music press, even in an age of greatly democratised media, that Keane are still perceived as 'boring'. Yes their first album is a little samey, but journos, largely pandering to the dictates of fashion and hipster snobbery, have decided for us that they are irrevocably dull, and Tom and the boys building a body of work that demonstrates a much greater capacity for growth and reinvention than some of their more chic contemporaries, (The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and The Gossip spring to mind) will do nothing to change their judgement.

Perfect Symmetry is another step in their evolution. Where Under The Iron Sea dabbled in bleak, atmospheric soundscapes and rockier anthems, P.S. is unashamedly a pop record. When opener Spiralling blasts out of your speakers you'll swear you've accidently slipped in Now That's What I Call The 80's.

The Lovers Are Losing is hooky and immense, while Ashes to Ashes pastiche Better Than This and You Haven't Told Me Anything combine synths and quirky pop eccentricity to winning effect. You Don't See Me has the feel of one of those warm, wise, later period-Queen ballads and Perfect Symmetry is one of the strongest melodies the band has yet written.

Perfect Symmetry is also the first album I've bought since Randy Newman's Sail Away to engage in a theological argument with itself, and for that alone I'm tempted to give it the full five stars. With Perfect Symmetry dismissing the false hopes of Heaven and condemning the destructive influence of 'an eye for an eye' in an age of new holy wars; Pretend That You're Alone painting absence of faith as a convenient self-delusion to disregard any external moral imperative and obey your every animal impulse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Baker on 5 Feb 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dark, brooding lyrics, soaring vocals, cleverly-crafted melodies that work their way into your head & stay there - it can only mean a new Keane album, and this, their 3rd studio effort, proves, to me, at least, that they are masters of their craft, operating at a different level to their contemporaries.

Track by track analysis:
SPIRALLING - Powerful, if uncharacteristic, opener. Spoken section ("did you want to be a winner...etc?") somewhat reminiscent of ELP's "Still you turn me on" (from 'Brain Salad Surgery' album).
LOVERS ARE LOSING - More typically melodic, this would not have been out of place on the 1st album - a superior track.
BETTER THAN THIS - Jerky, quirky little song, with nice falsetto touches from Tom. Grows on you.
YOU HAVEN'T TOLD ME ANYTHING - Pleasant, without being particularly outstanding.
PERFECT SYMMETRY - Unmistakeably Keane, both lyrically & musically: "Everything is better when you hear that sound.." Quite. Excellent, but do I detect shades of Mike & Mechanics (or even Abba) in the "Spineless dreamers" chorus?
YOU DON'T SEE ME - Beautiful - must rank as one of their finest-ever pure melodies.
AGAIN & AGAIN - If you enjoyed HOPES & FEARS, you'll love this, a sort of reprise to "This is the last time."
PLAYING AROUND - Echoes of Paul Simon's 'Have a good time,' Tom sounding remarkably Sting-like.
PRETEND THAT YOU'RE ALONE - Expands on the primeval theme of Nik Kershaw's 'Monkey business,' only here we are urged to "tear off your clothes & be born again." Love (which takes a bit of a bashing throughout the album) is "just a way of looking out for ourselves when we don't want to be alone." Mmm...
BLACK BURNING HEART - To my mind, THE standout track.
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