Keane – Under The Iron Sea
I was gonna write about the new album from Secret Machines, but that’s gonna have to wait until tomorrow kiddies. The reason for this was, I was looking at the BBC News website just before I went to bed last night, and they were reporting that that Keane frontman, Tom Chaplin is being treated for drink and drug problems. Fuckin’ hell eh, it’s always the quiet ones isn’t it? Well apart from Ozzy Osbourne but you get what I’m on about right? Only last week Justin “The knob from the Darkness” Hawkins was checked into the Priory for exhaustion, but the lad from Keane: drink and drugs. Bet Hawkins is loving that. Keane have the image (probably rightly) of being three quite pleasant, slightly posh guys who make pleasant inoffensive music. For that reason, they’re derided by the likes on NME but lauded (by the now completely MOR) Q magazine. Authors Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) have said they’re fans, but get a music fan to admit this would be like admitting appreciating anything by Pete Waterman.
So with a new Keane album out, just a few weeks earlier, I sat down and listened to it again. The first time, it drifted by me on a random playlist with about seven other albums I bought that day. But actually listening to it again, makes me realise that this is a good album. “Atlantic” has a strong drum beat with some gorgeous overlaid strings, the single “Is It Any Wonder?” is a pacey, electroised track that shows the band has some bite. “A Bad Dream” again, goes for a sythny, electronic sound that fits well with the epic scope of the song. “Hamburg Song” quiet, gentle and it’s a great advert for Chaplin’s voice, which is sincere and humble. Frankly, it’s makes a change from the egotistical bluster from groups like Kasabian and Oasis.
And therein lies the crux of the matter: some music magazine make grand claims on our behalf. Like how we “want our rockstars dangerous” (a la Docherty) or full or arrogance (a la Gallagher). Bollocks. I know what I want from my music: honesty, sincerity and freedom from ego. Yes, Keane maybe posh guys making unchallenging music, but at least they aren’t trying to be something they’re not. Maybe if we could all scrape underneath the surface, I wonder how many of “our” rockstars hold up?
Keane – Crystal Ball: