Please note: This review is for the standard single CD release.
I've been a Keane fan since their first ever hit in 2003. The song was the poignant 'Everybody's Changing', a great track that opens up this eagerly awaited greatest hits collection. The lyrics to these men's songs are often so very true, but the title of that first hit certainly hasn't reflected on Keane's success and popularity. So far, this East Sussex band have released four studio albums (from 2004-2012), and all of them have hit the number one spot, an impressive track record that I hope still stands when they release their fifth.
'The Best of Keane' marks their first decade of chart success, and contains all the radio friendly songs that we love, as well as two brand new tracks: 'Higher Than the Sun' and 'Won't Be Broken', both of which were written during the 'Strangeland' (the fourth album) era
The hits are presented on the CD chronically, tracks 1-5 are from their 2004 debut 'Hopes and Fears', 6-12 are taken from 'Under the Iron Sea' (which was 'almost' a greatest hits album in terms of the six single's success!), 13-14 debuted on 'Perfect Symmetry', 'My Shadow' was never a hit, but did appear on the EP 'Night Train', and 16-18 all appeared on 'Strangeland', Keane's most recent album. The aforementioned new tracks: 'Higher Than The Son' and 'Won't Be Broken' (19-20) are both included at the end.
If you are a casual fan or don't yet own a Keane album, then this really is a brilliant compilation which captures most of the highlights of their chart career so far. If you do however own the studio albums already, 'The Best of Keane' is worth having for the two new tracks, and to remind yourself (if you ever needed to) of all the classic songs the band has to their name.
I couldn't have done a better job myself in picking out the songs for this landmark release. However, I will say that it was a rather strange choice to include 'My Shadow' over 'Stop for a Minute, as that was the single taken from the aforementioned EP, and it WAS a top 40 hit. However, that is a minor criticism and not enough for me to rate this CD anything less than five stars.
Along with The Killers (who have also released a hits collection today), Keane was one of my first bands, and I'm still a fan today. I would recommend this album as a Christmas present, and it looks as though Keane and The Killers will be high in the charts throughout the rest of the month and December. Their fifth number one album perhaps?
Note: There is also a two CD set available (The Best of Keane - Deluxe Editon) which contains 17 of the band's B sides (ideal for a fan who wishes to own those tunes all in one place without having to collect the singles), and for the extra five quid or so, if you're really into them, I would say that it is well worth getting.