Under The Iron Sea review by Keane

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  • Released: Jun 20, 2006
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (44 votes)
Keane: Under The Iron Sea
1

Sound — 7
Under The Iron Sea is a melodic and moody release that continues in the spirit of its predecessor. Keane is unique in that the piano, not the guitar, is the band's primary mode of rocking. Singer Tom Chaplin's clean vocals bring to mind other Brit rockers, most notably Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield, especially on "Put It Behind You". "A Bad Dream," "Crystal Ball," "Nothing in My Way" and "Broken Toy" also all possess Keane's solemn sound.

Lyrics — 7
Instead of writing about esoteric topics like labor negotiators from the '30s, Chaplin sticks to more standard pop themes, from love lost and found, to self-realization, and, of course, war and peace. Chaplin can deliver a self-effacing line like "I guess I'm a toy that's just broken/I guess we're just over now," because he is so unapologetically sincere. Elsewhere, "Is It Any Wonder" comes off as "Achtung Baby"-era U2, with its cranking opening guitar riff and stadium-ready groove. Not surprisingly, then, the album's thought-provoking lyrics and anthems recall another piano-driven outfit influenced by U2: Coldplay, a band with whom Keane is regularly compared.

Overall Impression — 7
Despite their keyboard-centric approach, there isn't anything especially distinct about Keane's sound, except that the group writes smarter-than-average catchy pop songs. Whether these tracks stand up to the test of time isn't necessarily the group's concern. They're out to write good songs, and with "Under The Iron Sea," this overachieving three-piece has done just that.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sherwin
    reviewed the album for a local mag...nothin great...just plain piano work...i would give it just a 4
    [NIN]_ROCK!
    A lot of people say that they suck.I fell in love with their music the day I first saw them playing live in Lisbon(almost a year ago).This new album has a bunch of brilliant songs:"The Hamburg Song","Broken Toy"(this one is,by far,my fav of the album.Tom sings with a lot of emotion here) and "A Bad Dream"(a song about a soldier.Very well written,the piano sounds better than ever).If you like Adult Pop,go ahead and go get this album!
    01chardw
    I have to admit, I do like Keane aswell. Haven't heard the new album, but I liked hopes and fears.
    [NIN]_ROCK!
    this one is darker than Hopes And Fears,but it's just as good.I'm almost sure you'll like it if you give it a few tries.Rock On!
    ZepFloydRock101
    People like to poke fun at that the fact they dont have a guitar, but to me that's what makes them. The first time I heard Is it any wonder..I went, 'oh know..' but the rest of the album is good ol Keane. Nothing in my way is probably my favorite track. Up there with Hopes and Fears, but i still think the previous album was better. This album comes across as a little too melancholy.
    strokes4ever
    tomwm1 : keen are the crappest band since coldplay well both of those bands are class so you obviously don't know what your on about
    odog
    strokes4ever wrote: tomwm1 : keen are the crappest band since coldplay well both of those bands are class so you obviously don't know what your on about
    agreed
    Nexu
    tomwm1 : keen are the crappest band since coldplay
    Arrr..Couldn't be bothered to spell properly? Or just plain COULDN'T? I love Keane, think i prefered the last album though...not sure
    Slashfan_666
    Keane are awesome! much better than ****ing pretentious bastards coldplay. And they shuldn't compare. Keane don't even have a guitar, while coldplay do. Grrr...
    atdi420
    Keane are awesome! much better than ****ing pretentious bastards coldplay. And they shuldn't compare. Keane don't even have a guitar, while coldplay do. Grrr...
    omg they dont even have a guitar? ****ing stop me now.
    Mikowhy
    both keane and coldplay are great bands with great songs although they have their own styles and they shouldn't be compared to each other even if they play the same music