Keane disappoints with latest album ‘Strangeland’

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'Strangeland' lacks the emotion that normally sets Keane apart.

By Kara Phillips, Staff Writer

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During their long-standing career, Keane has continued to astonish their fans by creating albums filled with undying originality and expressive lyrics. From their award-winning debut album, Hopes and Fears, to their upbeat EP Night Train, this group is never afraid to take risks and experiment with their sound.

However, with the release of their new album Strangeland, their flawless track record of ingenuity has reached an abrupt halt. Not only is the album drenched with meaningless lyrics, but the musical structure of nearly every track is predictable. The lead singer, Tom Chaplin, fails to radiate his true talent by delivering most of the songs in an impartial manner, lacking the commitment and believability that usually make their songs fantastic.

Commencing the album with “You Are Young,” the group preaches about how the young are naïve when it comes to love, while them encouraging not to give up because love is everything. Although the message might be correct, the song itself was overdone, causing the audience to feel empty. “Disconnected,” the fourth song on the album, displays the band’s lack of creativity through repetition of the cliché “the blind leading the blind.”

The album worsens with the track “Sovereign Light Café,” where Chaplin sounds like a cabaret singer on the Carnival Cruise Line. Following the “Sovereign Light Café” is “On the Road,” which sounds like a song from the early 1970s. Proceeding “On the Road” is “The Starting Line” where Chaplin sings about a girl with whom he wishes to start a relationship, but she has been scarred from her previous relationships.

In the ninth track, “Neon River,” Chaplin sings the song without giving the lyrics meaning. After “Neon River,” the band speeds up the album with the song “Day Will Come,” a track that sounds similar to Coldplay’s new work.

Although most of the songs are mediocre, some of the songs on the album stand out and give a taste of the old Keane. “Black Rain” and “Sea Fog” display the softness and vulnerability Chaplin’s voice retains. “Watch How You Go” is a beautifully written song about Chaplin’s loss of a lover.

This album is just one of many examples of a great band with a great sound who sold out to pop culture. Now they have become just like every other Britsh alternative band in the industry, filled with mediocrity and poor in ingenuity.