Keane Finds Hope On Strangeland
May 16, 2012 · Print This Article
On its latest release, British rock band Keane recalls Hopes and Fears, the album that made folks fall on the floor from its beauty.
The first track on Keane’s fourth studio album Strangeland is the upbeat “You Are Young,” so full of energy and joy. Next, “Silenced By the Night” kicks the classic Keane piano riff and those soaring vocals Tom Chapin does so well. Top notch tune “Disconnected” follows. The verse is perfect and it busts right into the chorus just right with great energy. I just love the way Tom sings “There’s an invisible wall between us now” that one last time at the end.
Coming up in the fourth place on the record is “Watch How You Go”. This song is a nice and light little ballad, something Keane pull off really well. Lyrically speaking, this song to me is about saying goodbye but also wishing the best for a good friend and just asking them to watch how they go about doing things and letting them know what they mean to them. Very beautiful song and this song is the kind of Keane song I fell for in the first place.
The soaring “Sovereign Light Café” first showed up on Keane’s last tour and was inspired by a café of the same name of the song near where Keane recorded this album. Perhaps one of the faster, more energetic tracks on the album is “On the Road,” with Tom shouting on this one. “The Starting Line” is another one of those slow-paced balladish songs with synthesizer that sort of “swirls” throughout, and the magnificent chorus gives hope. I’ve found that hope, even in the toughest times, seems to be a theme throughout this album, lyrically speaking. This song would definitely fit in some sort of movie. I can just see it in my head.
“Black Rain” is so soft, ambient, and floating—where Tom’s voice just floats nicely on top of the ambiance during the chorus. With “Neon River,” Tim Rice-Oxley makes use of a delay at the intro of this song that reminds me of U2. “Day Will Come” pumps me up and makes me want to drive fast, a great get-on-your-feet and jump-around-and-scream track.
“In Your Own Time” contains a memorable chorus that could easily get stuck in your head: “In your own time/ There’s no map to guide our way/ So I say nothing, you say nothing/ In your own way/ Thought I could help you find your place/ But I’m as lost as you are lost these days.” “Sea Fog” closes out Strangeland. It actually sounds like the title suggests. I can see myself sitting out at a sea, specifically somewhere in Europe, listening to this song where it’s all foggy and boats are floating along. It’s a very beautifully sad tune.
Strangeland shares messages of hope but with moments of sad. But even the most melancholy- filled lyrics sound cheerful behind some of Keane’s happiest sounding music. Strangeland seems to be a slight call-back to the early days of Keane, and it’s really a quite daring move. You get more of the same, which in this case isn’t a bad thing! I don’t know if Tom has ever sounded better. —Vincent Magnarella