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Customer Review

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing to explore new territory, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Night Train (Audio CD)
As much as I love the piano-driven unique sound of Hopes and Fears, I guess it's only right that bands should explore new sounds to avoid becoming stale. They have tried stuff on this EP and the previous album, which, by their own admission, they would not have had the guts to do on their first album. I can't help but love the 80's influences, and if Keane had been around in the 80's, songs such as 'Your Love', which incidentally is a masterfully composed and arranged pop song, and 'Ishin Denshin' would have not sounded at all out of place.

It's only natural that for an outfit that started out as covers band, are at some point or other going to want to find an outlet for all their musical influences.

I was, like many others, a little unsure about the fusion of Keane and rap on 'Stop for a Minute', but I can't help liking it for the catchy tune that it is. I think the problem is, a band from leafy Sussex with public schoolboy accents, as other reviewers have suggested, is about as far from the street sound of rap as you can get. Since most Keane fans probably like Keane for those reasons, the idea of them exploring the rap genre, fills most fans with dread. The subtle beauty and superbly crafted vocals and melodies of Keane is a stark contrast to the often aggressive sound of rap. But lets face it K'Naan is not exactly a gangster rapper and I think he pulls off the fusion pretty well, not least because he can actually sing as well. I suppose I admire Keane for trying to break down musical barriers, after all Coldplay have worked with Jay-Z, whose rap on their alternative version of Lost! (Prospekt's March) worked pretty well for me. Others have pulled off fusing rap with other genres. Debbie Harry did it in 'Rapture', Aerosmith and Run DMC did it with 'Walk this Way', though it has to be said heavy rock and rap probably sit closer on the musical stage than rap and alternative indie!

I think I'm just a little concerned that Keane, in striving for new sounds, will lose their core sound that sets them apart from other bands. They already started to sound more mainstream when they started using guitars on 'Perfect Symmetry'. The mature sound on Hopes and Fears, and to an even greater extent, their B-sides from this era, was so unique, it would just seem a bit of a shame if Keane deviated from this path too much. Having said this, I don't think introducing a poppier feel to many of their songs has 'dumbed them down' in any sense. Musically and lyrically they are still as clever as they've always been. But I just wonder if the influence of black music to the extent of rap is a step too far for Keane? There's nothing wrong with being influenced by black music per se, but it seems everybody else is doing that, especially since the charts are so R and B influenced, and Keane offer up something different. They will probably introduce themselves to a lot of new fans by doing so, but it may be at the expense of some of their old fans.

Songs on 'Night Train', such as the beautifully haunting 'My shadow' are more like the Keane of old. Keane somehow manage to meld feel good with a kind of melancholic nostalgia that cements their songs into your head and will be so reminiscent of their era when you look back in years to come. Music has a great way of becoming a musical diary of your life and Keane have a great way of doing this since their songs seems to be already nostalgic even when you first hear them.

All great artists explore new territories and are not always appreciated for it until much later on. So for their usual musically accomplished genius, it's 4 stars from me, at the risk of being narrow-minded, with the 5th star standing in the background shouting, "don't change TOO much Keane, we love you as you were!"
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 May 2010 16:51:46 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 1 May 2012 07:08:37 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2010 20:52:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2012 09:43:45 BDT
C. Page says:
I actually pride myself on having a very broad musical tastes, from punk rock through to classical music, so I don't take kindly to being called narrow minded by someone who doesn't know me. As a musician I like t to think I know something about music. Keane's music is extremely well written. You may not like a band's music but you can still admit that they're talented.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2010 12:26:41 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 1 May 2012 07:08:44 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2010 11:45:30 BDT
C. Page says:
Yes, how perceptive you are. I am proud to own Coldplay, Travis and Katie Melua along with all the other music I own. Considering my favourite band of all time are the Beatles, I would refrain from making judgements about my musical tastes. From the amount of reviews you have posted, you obviously think yourself as some kind of amateur music critic. But, you fall into that category of people who are extremely snobbish about music and think that by being critical somehow elevates them to a position of authority. Well music, is for enjoyment. Music is music, it doesn't matter who it's by. The subtle beauty of much of Keane's music is obviously lost on you. Looking at the albums you have reviewed, I wouldn't say your music tastes warrant your over-inflated ego. That said, I also like Prince and the Smiths because, unlike you, I have broadminded tastes. There is some music you have reviewed which I do not like at all, but I won't criticize it because I am not small minded. My original comment about being narrow-minded was tongue in cheek and aimed specifically at a point I was making about Keane. I would say if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. It's not worth your while commenting on music which you don't like, unless it's from a constructive angle.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2010 23:18:41 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 1 May 2012 07:08:50 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2010 09:11:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2012 09:44:48 BDT
C. Page says:
This is my last comment on the subject. Given my wide
musical tastes and large CD collection, I know that I am not narrow minded. Being overly snobbish
and restrictive about what kind of music you listen to on the other hand, is. I rest
my case. PS. I would be careful about what you say to people in future, you will see that your original comments have been deleted by Amazon.
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