The debut album Hopes and Fears, introduced in 2004 was a strong start for the British band Keane. The album expressed a new era of alternative rock with a commanding lead singer on a vocal range that nearly matched Freddie Mercury and a powerful sounding piano playing in the background. Keane desired to create dream-like music that was electronic and ambient. At the time, the three member band included vocalist Tom Chaplin, pianist/keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley and drummer Richard Hughes.
In recent years, Keane had acquired bass player Jesse Quin who had only recorded one studio album with the triad in their 2012’s Strangeland. Since then, there has been no news of when the band was coming back for another album. But, Tom Chaplin released a solo album titled The Wave in 2016. In 2001, Keane’s original founder and guitarist Dominic Scott departed from the band before any of their studio albums released. The idea for Keane originated from a former caretaker’s last name of Tim Rice-Oxley who had passed away. In 1997, when Tom Chaplin joined the band, the current members changed the name from The Lotus Eaters to Keane.
The first single on Hopes and Fears that made it big in the United States was, “Somewhere Only We Know”. “Somewhere Only We Know”, has a memorable tune as Tom sings his heart out to the world. Tim Rice-Oxley follows the vocals like a wave of hope while the blend of all three instruments creates an explosive symphony. “This is the Last Time,” which is Keane’s second track on the album is very similar to “Somewhere Only We Know,” because it utilizes the same formula. Their second single, “Everybody’s Changing,” was much more uplifting and dance-able. This song has cache sounding instruments and may seem a bit repetitive. However, this will only make listeners want to hear it over and over. Their sad song of the album is, “We Might As Well Be Strangers”. This song can be described by someone getting over a relationship while walking in the pouring rain. Although they’re not completely away from the style, “Sunshine” and “Untitled 1” are the experimental songs of the album. “Sunshine”, puts Tom’s voice in a divine state as it echoes through a clinging chorus. “Untitled 1”, seems to combine many sounds of drums, piano, syncopation and the keyboard to form a harmonic beat. Similar to “Sunshine”, the song also includes the echoed voice that is unrealistic, but makes for a beautiful melody. The rest of the tracks are well produced and are highly recommended.
Hopes and Fears can be played straight through whether you’re in a cheerful or gloomy mood. In the past, Keane had reached fans where other breakout bands have failed. Part of their success was due to the great influence of U2, Oasis, and Coldplay. Keane became part of a new brand of music; one that could be played from rooftops and be appreciated by all types of people, because it excluded judgment, discrimination and swearing. This album delivers to a wide audience who will sing with the lyrics and eventually want more from them. Keane had the potential to be a popular band, but had suffered the loss to some of its friendly rivals. Many times, Keane have fallen between the cracks because they’re one of the best bands that no one has ever heard of.
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