Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another big review about a little album!, 31 May 2010
This review is from: Night Train (Audio CD)
First of all we need to consider that this is an EP not an album. It's something which has been released in the middle of what Keane was and what they are going to become by the next album. It's a snippet caught in between. These songs were created while Keane were on tour promoting their Perfect symmetry album, and that is definitely why these songs have that particular and somewhat similar sound. Keane made a big departure from their trademark sound when they released Perfect symmetry citing that it was a `fresh approach' and really changing their piano based style. I am really not a fan of what they have done with their new creative direction and love the old style that Keane perfected and the songs were written so well. Perfect symmetry, although weak in some parts, although I don't like to admit; had some pretty good tracks like Perfect symmetry and You haven't told me anything. The songs were a big departure in terms of primary style but still held that Keane feeling and were interesting songs. Some of the other songs were very weak and were 80's knockoffs that really didn't live up to a decent 80's sound, even if that is what they were trying. Keane dismissed Andy Green's production on Perfect symmetry and did it themselves, and this album follows a similar trend with no input from Andy Green and Tim producing the tracks (with a little help). It's clear that the production style of old isn't what they are looking for in their current sound.

I didn't have high hopes for this album and wasn't really expecting much, especially after Perfect symmetry and knowing that this was an EP. The album received little if no promotion and I only discovered it by visiting Wikipedia one day, and then checking the video for Stop for a minute out. I wasn't impressed by that song on my first listen in the slightest but it has later grown on me due to its catchy chorus. The video also continues the approach of not using any other band members accept for Tom in the video. I also was a little uneasy about them actually putting a rapper in the music. I was very surprised when the album went to number 1 on its first week of release, and bought it on the 2nd week. The album was recorded in 7 different studios around the world, which must coincide with their touring schedule, and why they didn't just record it in a couple of studios like they did with their last albums.

I am not impressed with the album as a whole. The style is just not what I want out of the band and even when I'm liking the selected songs I have to try and put out of mind that this is Keane; the same band that once sung the amazing Crystal ball and hit the charts with early songs Somewhere only we know and Bedshaped - piano brilliance. Although Tom's voice sounds much better on this album than on the first, the songs do not (as another reviewer has said) give him the chance to showcase his amazing vocal range and talent. On the last album I think he sounded so poor vocally because he had just got over his cocaine addiction and it had obviously interfered with his voice. This time his voice has recovered a lot but he doesn`t sound near as good as on the first two albums. K'naan is a guy who I had never heard of before and was really sceptical about them including rapping on their songs. He is only featured on two songs so does not take up the whole album. Not long after buying the album I saw his video on a music channel for Wave your flag with Will I am.

The first song House lights is just an instrumental (if you can call it that) filled with keyboards and distorted sounds, as well as primitive drumming, Back in time is another keyboard driven song similar to the Perfect symmetry sound. It's full of synthesizers and has a good sounding chorus. Stop for a minute although being one of the better sounding isn't anything special. The verses are quite bland with K'naan rapping in the bridge. The only thing that really grabs you is the catchy chorus. Clear skies features acoustic guitar and clapping and has a cooler, slower sound but is a nice song. Ishnin Denshin is clearly the worst song on the album. A lot of the verse is sung in French by a woman. It's got this really cheesy synthesized sound. This is as far away from the Keane sound that we have got to know as possible. Your love has a good bass to it but Tom's voice sounds strange on it. It's okay sounding but not their best moment here. The best song on the album is Looking back, good verses, a great chorus, a Rocky backdrop riff and this is the closest that they have got to their old sound with the piano carrying the song. K'naan features on the bridge and references Rocky. The last song is the longest and overly long in that it repeats itself and is dragged out but is the second piano based song and is the other song which is similar to their old sound. It's a slow song but is definitely reminiscent of a song which would fit into Hopes and fears.

When the band gets back to the older piano song they get back to it closer than they have done before since Under the iron sea but when the band go to that keyboard/synthesizer sound, they stray away as much further from their old trademark sound than anything on Perfect symmetry. Let's hope that the last 2 songs are an indication that the band is reverting back to that style because when they do it is pretty impressive.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2010 15:23:18 BDT
Matt182 says:
The Enhanced portion of the CD is a waste of time! It does not work at all for me. I donm't know if anyone else is having problems with the enhanced part but it is rubbish!

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 20:45:34 BDT
D. WALSH says:
Can I be pedantic and state that on Ishin Denshin, the woman is singing in Japanese, not French. It's a cover of a Japanese song.

Also, Tom's voice does not sound odd on Your Love. He isn't actually singing it, Tim is.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2010 15:57:00 BDT
Matt182 says:
That's probably be why Tom's voice sounds weird then cos it isn't him and I didn't know about the Japanese song.
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