Keane | Under the Iron Sea (Island)

The whole gamut of emotions is available here, though it often sounds more watered down than they intended.

 


Keane, part of the almighty British Isles conglomerate of musicians, presents its much anticipated sophomoric album Under the Iron Sea with mixed feelings. Like many second acts, the album does descend down a darker path than its predecessor, which could possibly be in part to Keane wanting to break from their radio-friendly sound. That being said, Iron Sea is in fact still a sometimes close, if not older brother, to its first effort Hopes and Fears.

Everything offered up on Keane's platter is a melodic, yet a melancholy assortment of tunes easily inspired by English summer rains rather than the deep cauldron of emotion that they are aiming for. "Crystal Ball" and "Nothing in My Way" are key examples of this type of endeavor, while "Try Again" seems to really take the reins and run with it.

What's still amazing is their ambition and lack of using guitars. Many bands today wouldn't dream of giving up the one staple that makes up much of a song's essence. But Keane has found a niche in their sound.

Keane has potential; they showed that on their debut album. Unfortunately, sitting under the umbrella commercial success does have its influences. Iron Sea is only as atmospheric and moody as their label would probably allow them.

The band was going through a potential split during the course of this record, which may account for some of this glum journey. The whole gamut of emotions is available here, though it often sounds more watered down than they intended. "Is It any Wonder" comments on Britain's involvement with the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, while "Under the Iron Sea" is an eerie track that is fitting for the upside-down fairytale world of this record.

Keane is almost genius and yet sometimes struggling to be up to par with Coldplay or U2, much like an Eli Cash to a Richie Tennenbaum. But it's only round two for this band and they still have some fight left in them to be brilliant in time.

RIYL: Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Dashboard Confessional

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply