Spun: Keane

By Jennifer Trieu

Since the releases of Hopes and Fears in 2004 and Under the Iron Sea in 2006, Keane has often been regarded and recognized as one of several typical “Coldplay-Radiohead-lite” bands in music today. However, on their latest album, Perfect Symmetry, the band makes noticeable efforts to depart from stereotypical British alternative rock sounds. Keane straddles traditional and increasingly digital methods of composition on their new studio album and in the process, creates some stellar new music with the occasional misstep. Symmetry opens with “Spiralling,” an upbeat synthesizer-driven song that ambitiously abandons Keane’s typically mellow sound, but unfortunately registers a whopping 11 out of 10 on the cheese-factor scale. With the exception of “Spiralling” however, the remainder of the album is quite good. “The Lovers are Losing” implements interesting synthesizer and drum effects without being embarrassingly cheesy. “Black Burning Heart” beautifully mixes digital sounds with Tom Chaplin’s soaring vocals. And Perfect Symmetry would not truly be a Keane album without strong, heart-tugging contemplative ballads such as “You Don’t See Me” or “Love Is The End” with both songs highlighting Keane’s consistent ability to compose thoughtful songs that prompt and encourage introspection.

While it is likely Perfect Symmetry will not be regarded as the most groundbreaking or interesting work, its infusion of experimental sounds and familiar Keane-esque piano-driving melodies effectively draw music lovers in to an eclectic and pleasant mix of old and new musical tricks from the British piano-rock trio.

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