Saturday, June 13, 2009

Best of 2000s: Keane - Hopes and Fears (5/5)

In the spring of 2004 I fell absolutely in love with this album. I remember listening to it constantly during a vacation to the Outer Banks. You know you're really going to like an album when your favorite song keeps changing as you listen to it more. Sure the piano pop/rock of "Somewhere Only We Know" sets the tone, but then the more upbeat "Everybody's Changing" gets to you, then the longing of "We Might As Well Be Strangers," then the album's most energetic cut "Bend and Break" has to be your favorite. In short, there's very little I don't like about this album. It's about as strong a debut as a band could hope for, and so far, Keane has yet to outclass it. Was it gimmick to make rock music that didn't include the most "rock" instrumental of all? Perhaps, but Tim Rice-Oxley plays the keys with both more joie de vivre and healtfelt tenderness than many guitar players could ever hope to. Coldplay got a lot of attention for putting piano in the forefront of their mix, but they mostly play just simple chord combinations, while Keane's piano melodies are more complex. Brilliant pop at its best.

Best: Bend and Break, Somewhere Only We Know, Bedshaped, Everybody's Changing, We Might as Well Be Strangers, Your Eyes Open, This Is the Last Time


Matt said...

I really really want to try this. Somewhere Only We Know came on the radio and it was fantastic.

ww_adh said...

I'm surprised you missed it when it came out. I was obsessed with it. Their second album is pretty good too, although I thought their most recent was disappointing.