Album Review: Keane – Strangeland

 

Keane is back!

 

Strangeland, the band’s new studio album, is sprinkled with elements of their oldest tunes, predominantly those from Hopes and Fears, leaving us with a much more mature sound, and more stripped down album than the last two productions.

 

The opening track, “You Are Young”, is smooth and easy going, a good way to ease into the album. It moves straight on to “Silenced By The Night”, the album’s first single which is much more traditional-Keane-sounding and begins the walk down memory lane to the sounds of their first two albums.

 

The ballads, including “Watch How You Go”, “The Starting Line”, and “Sea Fog” are all driven by the signature Keane piano riff, similar to the one in “We Might As Well Be Strangers” from their debut album, Hopes & Fears. However, on Strangeland, these songs are more stripped down and emphasize Tom Chaplin’s vocals much more than the ballads on Hopes & Fears.

 

The sixth song, “On The Road”, is particularly an interesting song; it’s the closest the band comes to a fist-pumping anthem on this CD because Chaplin sings a very catchy melody, which sounds different than the usual soothing tunes that he usually sings. But It distracts the listener from the actual lyrics, which are actually very comforting in themselves:

‘So when the sun is coming up and you go
And there’s still so many things you should know
Don’t you look back, I’ve no doubt that I will see you on the road’

However, just like every other song on this album, there is a still an element of classic Keane which is found in the muted, high-pitched piano line.

 

“Sea Fog” is the perfect way to close off – a simple song that leaves you feeling peaceful.

 

If you break it down, Strangeland is really just the optimal combination of the signature sounds that Keane developed on their first two albums; this album is something entirely new, even though it’s really not.

 

Watch the official video of “Silenced By The Night” below!

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