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Strangeland (Deluxe)

4.6 out of 5 stars 237 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B007CVZDXE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,896 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Strangeland is the fourth studio album by East Sussex band Keane, and the first from the four-piece since Perfect Symmetry in 2008. The album was produced by Dan Grech-Marguerat and was inspired in part by his work with New York indie band The Vaccines, with Keane aiming for a more back-to-basics sound based on songwriting rather than production. Strangeland features the single "Silenced by the Night".

This deluxe edition "Mint Pack" of Strangeland includes four bonus tracks.

BBC Review

It doesn’t get much more play-safe and back-to-basics than this. 2008’s Perfect Symmetry saw mega-selling East Sussex band Keane surprise sceptics with a galvanised twist of electro-pop, retro-tooled to emulate early Simple Minds. Arguably they did this with more guile and pizzazz than The Horrors, but the fanbase must have flinched as Strangeland, belying its title, is an unabashed scurry back to the comfort zone. If it doesn’t match 2004’s insanely popular debut Hopes and Fears commercially, it’ll reassure that mysterious, critic-immune mainstream that buys Coldplay and Snow Patrol records that Keane are polite gentlemen who won’t harass your daughters or scare the horses.

Sweet, unthreatening melodies abound, then, sung with porcelain-choirboy competence by Tom Chaplin and written and arranged by Tim Rice-Oxley, whose keyboards dominate. While he finds enough effects to vary the tone, there returns a sense that for all their tugs at emotion, Keane lack blood, guts and muscle. There’s a nod at Radiohead on Black Rain, and On the Road is proud of its peppiness; but most songs blur into a faint facsimile of Genesis’ 1978 hit Follow You, Follow Me or slide cosily into the wistful, mid-tempo ballad shapes patented by U2 in the 90s.

It’s textbook-inoffensive, though a couplet in the single Silenced by the Night, a kind of toy-town Echo & The Bunnymen, smothers you in cliché-cheese: “If I am a river, you are the ocean / Got the radio on, got the wheels in motion.” They’re more palatable when waxing nostalgic about their teenage years, a recurring theme, and on Sovereign Light Café – “We were friends and lovers and clueless clowns” – convince with Springsteen-esque romanticising of youthful frustrations. They achieve more grandeur when taking the foot off the ‘epic’ pedal than when blowing hard.

Recorded at Rice-Oxley’s studio with producer Dan Grech (Radiohead, The Vaccines, Lana Del Rey), and now a four-piece with bassist Jesse Quin a full member, the piano-rockers can’t be too carped at for doing what made their name. Yet those glimpses on Perfect Symmetry of something flashier and sexier make this retreat to familiarity a somewhat saddening step backwards.

--Chris Roberts

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some years back, I bought the first Keane album & loved it. However, in comparison, the second album was a disappointment, although it has grown on me more. Because of this, I haven't bought anymore albums since...that was until I was enticed to do so by the singles off of 'Strangeland'. This is a great album &, although particular tracks stand out, it doesn't have a weak song on it. Well done, Keane, for getting back on track.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a Keane fan ever since 2003, when the first songs from "Hopes and Fears" dominated my discman playlist in my late teens. I now listen to early songs like "Everybody's Changing" and "Somewhere only we know", and feel the nostalgic pull back to my naive era.

Nostalgia is at the heart of Keane's 4th studio album, "Strangeland", and it is certainly a return to the classic Keane ambiance. They've swapped the electronic experimentation of "Perfect Symmetry" with melodic piano pop-rock, emotional ballards, and soaring, driving anthems. They do a really good job of it as well. Certainly for an old-timer fan like myself, a return to form is something I never expected, but something I am very grateful for.

"You are Young" and "Silenced By the Night" begin the journey on the road, and are both driving, energetic anthems which will lift your mood. "Strangeland" is quite a paradoxical title for a record which is largely happy and upbeat.

"Disconnected" is an album highlight, with Tom Chaplin showing his vocal versatility by singing in quite a low register at first. Bizarrely the melody is redolent in my ears of "I'm an Urban Spaceman" by the Bonzo Dog Band, but that is great, because it means the tune is both dark and playful at the same time.

3 tracks in, and they all pass the hummable test. You can hum the melody to yourself on a whim. That is Tim Rice-Oxley's composing triumph. He is the master of melody in today's musical world.

"The Starting Line" and "Watch How You Go" are two wonderful ballads, which are destined for sing-along-crowds at T in the Park or V festival later this year.
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By Friarofdoom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I have to admit being very disappointed when 'Perfect symmetry' was released.
Having soared with 'The iron sea', world tours, live DVD & all sorts of singles & promo's selling like hotcakes over on the bay, it looked as if the lads were about to launch off into mega stardom.
Ah well, what do I know eh?
This album see's an unexpected & very welcome return to form. Don't get me wrong, this is not a re-hash of the sounds of their first two albums. Except for Tom's instantly recognisable voice this would not be easily seen as a Keane album.
The melodies are at times quite beautiful, 'The starting line', is for me anyway, as lovely as anything that's gone before. It's a real joy to listen to the music as well as the singing. Strong keyboard work alongside tight rhythm underpins some very strong lyric's.
There is a constant sadness underpinning most tracks & it lends a weight that was missing to most of the previous album.
Tom remains unique & his voice is as powerful as ever.
With smart song writing skills to the fore & top notch musicianship, ( a new band member, Jessie, has clearly done no harm), alongside the signature Keane sound this is a strong entry both into the their releases & the years albums.
Great stuff & easily recommended to Keane fans & newbies alike.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I recently bought the deluxe version with 16 tracks and it was well worth the effort of buying it. On the other hand this offering while containing excellent tracks it doesn't even feature the title track which is really strange indeed, where is the music industry heading with this new idea of bringing two different versions don't they make enough money out of genuine fans already without exploiting them even more like this. I recommend you all buy the deluxe version and shop around for the best price like I did from the USA not UK. Isn't that ridiculous.
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I've hardly stopped playing this since it arrived. I love every track and firmly believe it to be the best Keane album yet. I thought nothing could top Hopes and Fears. I like Under the Iron Sea, Perfect Symmetry, Night Train; but Strangeland is the best. It really shows that Keane took their time over this to get it just right. After seeing them live in Manchester on 30th May I'm listening to it all the more. Still trying to decide which is my favourite track and don't think I can. I saw the video for Disconnected on Virgin On Demand and it's also worth finding if you can.
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Visted Bexhill on Sea recently and had a coffee in the Sovereign Light Cafe. There were pictures of the band everywhere inside and the person who served me said excitedly that it was the Keane cafe.The lead singer comes from Battle just a few miles away and presumably spent his childhood around the coast here. I watched the video of the single on my phone while there (and saw the lady who had just served me coffee right at the end) thinking what a great song and what a great album too. I also enjoyed matching up the album cover artwork and photos to the actual places along the seafront while I hummed the tunes. (my young daughter spotted which shelter amongst the many along the front was the one featured on the inside cover of the deluxe edition.
If you are a Keane fan and in particular like Strangeland then I suggest you too visit Bexhill on Sea and see what in part inspired this fabulous album.I have the deluxe version which has 16 tracks and there is not a skipper amongst them. How many albums with even 10 on can you say that about?. One of the best albums I`ve heard in years.
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