11 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

All hail the 1980s? Well, the UK’s Keane have plugged in their retro synthesizers and written a handful of tunes (“Spiralling”, “The Lovers Are Losing”, “You Haven’t Told Me Anything”) that recall the pure synth-pop bliss of that era with lots of exaggerated productions. Keane keep a tighter grip on the production end, never allowing a reverb to swallow them. Their third album, 2008’s Perfect Symmetry, was recorded in Paris, London, and Berlin, with a variety of producers stopping by for input (Jon Brion, Stuart Price) on this self-produced excursion into a new Keane. This “new” Keane revel in the upbeat propulsion of “Better Than This” that allows singer Tom Chaplin to shriek in mock falsetto and generally play up the festive atmosphere where once brooding might have taken hold. And this all-keyboard band even adds some guitars in spots; they temper the mood a tad. The title track still swoons with a gravitas and a sense of personal mission: “I shake through the wreckage for signs of life”. The closing ballad, “Love is the End”, puts a gripping final nail into love’s endless cycle of hope and defeat.

EDITORS’ NOTES

All hail the 1980s? Well, the UK’s Keane have plugged in their retro synthesizers and written a handful of tunes (“Spiralling”, “The Lovers Are Losing”, “You Haven’t Told Me Anything”) that recall the pure synth-pop bliss of that era with lots of exaggerated productions. Keane keep a tighter grip on the production end, never allowing a reverb to swallow them. Their third album, 2008’s Perfect Symmetry, was recorded in Paris, London, and Berlin, with a variety of producers stopping by for input (Jon Brion, Stuart Price) on this self-produced excursion into a new Keane. This “new” Keane revel in the upbeat propulsion of “Better Than This” that allows singer Tom Chaplin to shriek in mock falsetto and generally play up the festive atmosphere where once brooding might have taken hold. And this all-keyboard band even adds some guitars in spots; they temper the mood a tad. The title track still swoons with a gravitas and a sense of personal mission: “I shake through the wreckage for signs of life”. The closing ballad, “Love is the End”, puts a gripping final nail into love’s endless cycle of hope and defeat.

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