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Keane

Hopes & Fears

By Michael Summers

michael_summers@fortwaynereader.com

Fort Wayne Reader

2004-06-28


A British trio with an interesting line-up — drums, piano, and vocals — Keane stake claim to musical territory somewhere close to the atmospherics of Coldplay on their debut album. But where Coldplay (or Radiohead, when they used to write songs) can get a little moody and dark, Keane’s melancholy tones are unabashedly pop. The highlight here is vocalist Tom Chaplin, who has a high, clear, compelling voice that can sound a bit like Queen’s Freddie Mercury on the soaring choruses Keane seem to excel at (well, if Freddie Mercury was fronting the Pet Shop Boys, maybe). Hopes & Fears boasts three standout tracks: “Somewhere Only We Know,” “This Is the Last Time,” and (especially) “Everybody’s Changing,” which perfectly captures the mood of feeling left behind when everyone else you know seems to be growing up and moving on. But while these three songs hit you immediately, most of the rest of the album just floats by, with mid-tempo track after mid-tempo track. It’s perfectly pleasant as background music, but pleasant background music is nothing any pop band should aspire to. Still, Hopes & Fears shows promise as a debut album; here’s to a more consistent effort next time around.

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