A sonic delight
THE career trajectory of Britpop band Keane follows very much in the way of most of its “cloudy weather” peers such as Travis, Starsailor and Athlete (minus Coldplay) in that its success was attributed very much to the average music listener’s sudden fascination with moody British melodies. Unfortunately, it was not a fascination that was meant to last, given the material.
You can only fashion that many variations of the same four-chords before everything starts bleeding together. Keane attempted to stand out from the pack by employing a two-fold strategy of being guitar-free and relying on Tom Chaplin’s elastic voice.
It worked for a while, with tracks Everybody’s Changing and Somewhere Only We Know quickly taking the band from relative obscurity to festival-headlining slots. But like a good ol’ Britpop story, reinvention was shelved and a last-ditched stab merely found the band on the outside looking in.
This set sees their gems pooled under one roof and when they are lined up like that, there’s a certain retrospective magic about them. While chronically un-hip, Keane was not a terrible band at all and the songs here attest to that. Tracks such as the gorgeous Atlantic prove that during its day, Keane was an absolute songwriting force. This is a fantastic place to start, if you’ve amazingly never discovered this band before.