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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2006
I have listened to this album hundreds of times now and am still finding new emotional depths and nuances. If Hopes & Fears was Keane's suite of optimistic, romantic teenage bittersweet songs then Under the Iron Sea is much darker and deeper - conveying a dive under the sea in a bathyscape with its lyrics of alienation, despair, suffocation within oneself, betrayal, longing, regret. The variety of tracks is impressive, from the gorgeous, heart-wrenching Hamburg Song to the rock-out that is Is it Any Wonder? My personal favourite is Leaving So Soon? The soaring vocals are breathtaking. Tim Rice-Oxley is a master songwriter and keyboardist, and Tom Chaplin has such a pure achingly beautiful voice. In spite of all the darkness and emotional pain of the album (mirroring real life experiences), the final track suggests a re-surfacing into the world of light and laughter. Best album of 2006.
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on 21 February 2013
I remember buying this album back in 2006 when it was released without listening to a single track as Keane are probably the only band for me where I know that I will love every song on every album and Under The Iron Sea is no different for me. I have been a huge fan of Keane since they first started and played a number of support gigs to Travis.

It astounds me that people do not like this band because there seen as "UNCOOL" as they don't have the rocky coolness I mean what a load of crap not to like a band regardless of music just because there seen as "UNCOOL" even though they produce amazing albums where every song could be a single.

Yes this album does have a darker edge to it but it's up there for me with all the rest of there great album's there music is also great driving music too!

Again shame on you if you rated the album 3 stars or lower! Your wrong in a big way!
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on 18 May 2006
Having been to the album preview gig at ULU earlier in May, I have heard 11 of the 12 tracks on the album and have to say that Keane have made a beauty of an album. It still retains the features which made Keane so popular on the last album but have added new sounds and deeper meaning to their lyrics. Bad Dream and Frog Prince are the undoubted stand out tracks although the haungting Atlantic and upbeat Is it any wonder are fantastic. I'm not sure whether many who dislike Keane will be swung by this album but those who already love Keane will love this album and proves how talented the lads from Sussex are
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on 18 May 2006
Having bought Hopes and fears the day It came out I am a long standing fan of this group. So its with some uncertainty that I appraoched this new CD with all the reports of the new direction and darker element to it. After a few listens However I need not have worried. Every song its beautifully crafted, melodious and catchy. The only weak link if there is one is the instrumental "Iron sea" which can drag on. But with tracks such as gorgeous opener "atlantic" and superb "chrystal ball" not to mention "bad dream" and "nothing in my way" its only a tiny complaint. Sadly many wont Give the CD a chance as It appears popular to for "music snobs" to dismiss Keane out of hand. But then again they are missing out so they are the losers
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on 7 July 2006
If you are thinking about the standard release or spending a couple of pound more on this then go for this, you won't regret it. Such great value, obviously the album is here in all its greatness and then you get the DVD which has a great making of documentary, a short film, music vid and making of and then basically the whole album in either demo or early live format from last year. All this and its presented in a gorgeous book style packaging. Highly recmommended.
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on 22 June 2006
Since their first and last album in 2004, Keane has seemed to evolve musically and emotionally as a band. Even though some of the songs appear upbeat at first, they hide darker lyrics. "Is it any wonder?" is the best example. The whole CD creates a dense atmosphere as if one was swimming in very thick water or an Iron Sea. Fortunally it gets softer by the end, unlike Hopes & Fears that ended with Bedshaped and a need to play again Somewhere only we know. The DVD is very interesting and and shows some of the creative process and live performances. An excellent choice for any Keane fan.
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on 13 November 2006
Most of the time we hear how the first album by an artist or the first film in a sequel is much better than what follows, but Under The Iron Sea certainly doesnt fall under this category. Im a huge fan of Keane and listened to Hopes And Fears god knows how many times, but since UTIS came out ive hardly listened to it as this album is so great.

Atlantic was the first I heard, on a Channel 4 video exclusive. I recorded it and played it over and over. Richard's drumming in this song is so strong and the atmosphere is just like...wo! (amazing). The next week they showed Is It Any Wonder? and so I taped it and once again it didnt fail to impress. Very catchy and upbeat, and youve just got to love its quirkyness. I think these two are like the opposites on the album. Both quite different but spectacular. Id like to go on about all the songs on the album but I know I shouldnt.

I think the songs are more powerful and on the whole there is a wider range of music. Tim's backing vocals are more influential and his creativity with pianos and keyboards reaches a further high. Most of the songs are easy to get into and some take a bit of time, but I think thats great. Those you dont get into straight away feel like new songs once theyve really grown on you. To begin with I felt Broken Toy was a little boring and needed something extra to give it a boost, but now I just love it as it is and now feels fresher than some of the others. Theres simply too much 'amazing-ness' about this album to get bored.

The singles from the album are fine examples of whats easy to get into, and what the difference is between this and Hopes And Fears. Keane are the same band and style, just with more depth and newer songs, and once again very strong lyrics (which with Tom's amazing voice is the most incredible singing youll hear). But dont get me wrong though, both albums are great and I could go on and on about how much I love Hopes And Fears too, but I just dont get how people compare the two and find UTIS dull and lacklustre..................theyre both amazing!!!

p.s. Nothing In My Way is my favourite song - their 3rd single - so put the radio on already! (I couldnt not mention it)
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on 12 November 2006
I bought this album with rather a sceptical outlook; how could they match the new, exciting, uplifting sounds of their debut 'Hopes and Fears'? Will the guitarless trio, fronted by Tom Chaplin, become like so many indie bands that fail to deliver with their second album?

I must say that on first listen, I was not entirely convinced. There are a few tracks - Crystal Ball, Nothing In My Way, Is It Any Wonder - that are immediately recognisable as 'Keaneish', instantly memorable for their strong piano focus, however IIAW does employ some impressive guitar effects. The opening track 'Atlantic' embodies what the band were trying to achieve with the album, an inpeneterable wall of sounds, with an oppressive layering of piano and synthesised instrumentation characterising the song. It begins with an eerie, repetitive piano riff, the track sounding too 'doomy' upon first listen, but it soon becomes a sinister, forboding piece, which takes an unexpected key change half way through. This song is definitely a grower, so bear with it. I feel that this is the stand out track, for its sheer atmosphere, and also as it shows a darker side of Keane, who have been accused of being too 'saccharine'.

Skip to 'Bad Dream', rumoured to be the next single. This song is a song-writer's dream; lulling vocals from Chaplin tell a emotional story of war and aggression, and this is definitely a dream that I wanted to last longer than it ctually did. Chaplin's vocals are stronger and also carry menace at times - Atlantic, Broken Toy - and undoubtedly form the backbone for the band, with his distinctly English accent setting them apart from other bands at the moment (Arctic's, Razorlight...) 'Hamburg Song' and 'Try Again' are heart wrenching, and tell with such emotion as Chaplin's pure register can manage his own personal struggles of late. The album is a progression from their debut, and although not as instantly 'sing-a-long', and perhaps lacking as many anthems as 'Hopes' boasted, this album shows that Keane have matured into their own distainct sound, and are a band not afraid to take risks. Overall, this album does not disappoint, and I know that it will be on repeat on my Media Player for a while to come.
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on 30 January 2007
I've bought many an album since i left high school almost 10 years ago and i have to say this has got to be one of the most amazing, breathtaking and simply outstanding albums i have had the privelege to buy. Not only does the lead singer Tom Chaplin send shivers down my spine with his haunting and angelic voice, he also manages to draw you in with the emotion of each song as he sings them and the equally amazing Tim and Richard who without them to add to Tom's wonderful vocal talent we would not have have Keane, they work so well together as pianist and drummer along with Tom that it's a wonder they haven't been nominated for every award going. Well to sum it up quickly, an album you should have in your collection and 1 to be proud of owning, every song tells a story and i guarantee that after listening to this record you'll realise that each song plays out a part of your life. Five stars is simply not enough for these Sussex lads.
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on 1 August 2007
I am a prog rock fan. Always have been, always will be. Nevertheless, I do like a change sometimes. And this is a refreshing change indeed! A truly amazing album. I have their debut, Hopes & Fears, which is excellent too, but this one is a step above not only that but pretty much anything else in the pop world. From start to finish this album, song by song, grabs your attention. Ridiculously catchy melodies combine with great keyboard work and high quality singing to produce a future classic of its type. With songs of this calibre, it's really down to personal taste what your favourites and least favourites will be. For me, Hamburg Song is my least fave, being a little too slow, though it's not in anyways a bad track.
Favourites? Well, Crystal Ball, The Frog Prince, Atlantic, Is It Any Wonder, all vie for top spot. But, above all these I would put the phenomenal Leaving So Soon. Gorgeous melody and an out of this world chorus combine to produce a classic. I never get tired of playing this album. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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