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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
189
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 April 2017
good buy, well worth it...
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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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Some second albums can be almost like the kiss of death for some bands, but not Keane. In 2006 these alternative rockers followed up the huge success of 'Hopes and Fears' with another number one record, and a string of major hit singles. Once more, their sound had matured, their songs, some of which may initially appear to be more happy and upbeat, but when you really listen to them a few times over, you'll see that they contain even darker and deeper, but less obvious lyrics. This was a definite progression, and 'Under the Iron Sea' still maintained that hauntingly beautiful sound that we quickly came to associate with these East Sussex men.

My favourite tracks are decidedly: 'Is It Any Wonder?', 'Crystal Ball', 'Nothing in My Way', 'A Bad Dream' and 'Atlantic', all five of which were hit singles, which says the lot about the quality of an album. I think comedian Peter Kay summed them up best when he was quoted as saying: "Keane have always had the rare ability to produce songs that feel and sound as if we've known them all of our lives" - he said it all!

If you're very 'Keane' on the band (sorry for the terrible pun!), them I recommend that you go for the deluxe edition here: Under The Iron Sea [Limited Edition] [CD+DVD, where you'll also get a bonus DVD. On that disc, you'll find bags of extras, including an informative 25 minute documentary about the album and it's recording progress, a short film, and virtually every song that appears on 'Under the Iron Sea', given to you either as a demo or as a live performance.
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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 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 16 April 2017
After the brilliance and intensity of Hopes&Fears , this follow-up allows you to come up for air and simply enjoy a very good album which is still identifiably Keane. The magic didn't last to the third and subsequent albums , but who cares when you have these two to choose from.
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Keane scored a round of victories with their bittersweet debut, "Hopes and Fears," and getting plenty of fans on both sides of the Atlantic. But could the piano-rock band capture lightning in a bottle for the second time?

Frankly, yes. Their second album "Under the Iron Sea" is every bit as atmospheric and beautiful as its predecessor, with a heavier emphasis on electronics as well as the previous drums and piano. The "sinister fairytale-world-gone-wrong" description fits it well.

You'll be drawn in by "Atlantic," which is the perfect intro to their music -- dark, sweeping and fluid, just like the iron sea of the album's title. Tom Chaplin's soaring voice sings of loneliness, and a longing for love and comfort: "I need a place/That's hidden in the deep/Where lonely angels sing you to your sleep/The modern world is broken... A lover's lap where I can lay my head..."

They switch tempos for the uptempo, ominous "Is It Any Wonder," before slipping comfortably into something in between. It's full of swaying balladry that's just catchy enough to be radioready, claustrophobic piano pop, and exquisite soundscapes that just brim over with loneliness.

The second half makes things even darker, with low-key songs that sound lonely, and sinister-sounding rock songs. The title track is an exquisite piece of shivery, soaring soundscapes backed by soaring voices, and ending with a ghostly cry. They should have stuck that li'l gem on the end, just to make people feel haunted.

You don't see many artists getting LESS commercial as time goes on, but that is the case with Keane. While "Hopes and Fears" was a song about straightforward lovelornity, this is a darker, more brooding album. Like a "sinister fairytale," it sounds dark, complex and beautiful.

Don't worry, the piano and drums are still there and the synth doesn't drown the beautiful instrumentals out -- believe me, I could never have forgiven that. The backbone of their songs is made up of those, and "Hamburg Song" is simply one long exquisite piano solo. But the synth is heavier than it was before, adding a dreamier sound to many songs.

And Tom Chaplin's grown-up-choirboy voice is as gorgeous as ever. He sounds so pure and strong when he sings through "Try Again," and he can stand out even in the swirling masses of synth. But he does sound slightly different, as if he's matured since "Hopes and Fears" was released.

"Under the Iron Sea" is the kind of pop music we don't have enough of -- made for the love of art, not the love of radio singles. This is the album that Coldplay SHOULD have made.
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VINE VOICEon 23 October 2007
We've all heard the jokes about how uncool it is to like Keane. What is it they say? Music for people who don't like music? And we've all had a little laugh at the ruddy faced lead singer who looks and sounds like he should be in the local Cathedral, never mind a platinum selling band with a list of addictions as long as his tax return.

Taken at face value this is another barnstorming collection of lightweight indie power-pop stompers and toe-gazing piano-driven ballads, just like the world conquering last album that affirms these negativities.

However, listen carefully, and scratch some of all you think you know about Keane anyway, and this becomes a bleak, hopeless, strife-laden, totally torn album on which writer Tim Rice-Oxley lays his soul bare, and blows wide open the rift between he and lead singer Chaplin. Indeed, the two were barely speaking during the writing and recording process.

The album opens with the dark and dramatic "Atlantic", a storm in a song, Chaplin echoing over pounding tribal drums and thundering bass pedals...

"I don't want to be old and feel afraid"

...before, musically at least, the sun comes out.

Things don't get much brighter however with the oft played single "Is It Any Wonder?" nor the following track "Nothing In My Way" with it's spitting, venomous line, clearly directed from one band member to the other;

"For a lonely soul, you're having such a nice time...."

This theme of darkness, of bitterness and of dislocation and disaffection is continued throughout the entire CD, with "Hamburg Song"'s :

"Fool, I wonder if you know yourself at all/You know that it could be so simple"

..followed closely by "Crystal Ball"'s :

"Who is the man I see/Where I'm supposed to be?/I lost my heart/I buried it too deep/Under the iron sea"

And then the plaintive, depressed cry on Try Again :

"Why would I want to see you now?/To fix it up? make it up somehow?"

But surely the most direct lyrics, written by Oxley for his bandmate Chaplin comes in the form of those for "Frog Price", the album's closer;

"All promises broken/Feed your people or lose your throne/Forfeit your whole kingdom/I'd sooner lose it than still live in it alone"

And :

"You've wandered so far/From the person you are/Let go brother/let go/
Cos now we all know"

Sure there are bad moments on the CD too. "Nothing In My Way" is a little plodding, "Leaving So Soon" is Keane at their most lightweight and ineffectual, and "A Bad Dream" is noble in sentiment and based on a fine poem but is executed in my opinion poorly, Chaplin sounding lost amidst the seriousness of it all and the boom of the bass drum.

All in all then, when you buy a Keane record you expect throwaway, singalong tunes and to an extent you get them here. So fans and followers alike won't be disappointed.

However, for those wanting a deeper side to their music and their lyrics, this CD is a lyrical trainspotter's dream and the most modern and detailed portrayal we have on record, of a band on the knife edge of splitting up, and of two formerly best friends beginning to hate each other's guts, frankly.

Almost makes one feel guilty that it's such an enthralling listen...
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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 12 June 2006
Well needless to say I have been waiting for this album a little under 2 years after purchasing Hopes and Fears and falling in love with it! I can say with Under The Iron Sea, I am not dissapointed.

Keane have adopted a much different and darker style with this album and there is a strong sence of feeling. Each song has its own unique style bringing a flood of emotion with it. So different and yet so similar, now and then hints of old style Keane poke through and it reminds you just why you love this band so much.

After hearing Keane's single release, Is It Any Wonder, some may think "Uh oh Keane have jumped on the pop song band wagon." and although their new style can be lively at points, its still very much pure raw Keane emotion and you can't beat that! The instrumental, The Iron Sea, adds a nice little break inbetween songs and adds even more of that dark Keane atmosphere but always a hint of hope and happiness pokes through in the end Keane style.

If you liked the first album, buy this now and be proud to have it in your collection. I'm sure everyone out there can relate to at least 1 song on this album. Ignore what anyone else has said, this is Keane at their greatest yet!
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