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Hopes and Fears is an album from British band Keane. The album was released ten years ago, back in 2004. The CD is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £5.27 which I think is good value for money.
~ * Track Listing * ~
1) Somewhere Only We Know 2) Bend and Break 3) We Might As Well Be Strangers 4) Everybody's Changing 5) Your Eyes Open 6) She Has No Time 7) Can't Stop Now 8) Sunshine 9) This Is The Last Time 10) On A Day Like Today 11) Untitled One 12) Bedshaped
I remember Keane being about when I was about twelve years old. I remembered I liked a couple of their songs, although I didn't really know much about them and wasn't that much of a fan as they weren't really an 'in yer face' kind of band, they seemed to be more in the background. Anyway, my mum used to say she liked them and I remember finding their album cheap on play.com a few years ago and bought it her for Christmas a few years ago. I never actually listened to the CD myself, but when I recently decided I needed some new Cds in my car, I decided to have a listen to this - if I had known how good this album was, I would listened to it straight away rather than waiting ten years!!
This is the debut album from Keane and I am so impressed. The songs are so well written; they have a really unique sound. There is no other band like Keane; they have the great ability to write great songs and are just amazingly talented. I love the fact that they make their own music and play their own instruments. One thing which I find refreshing about this album is the fact that the music is 'real'; I.e it's guitars and pianos etc, and none of this fake electronic stuff that you get in the charts these days. Tom is also a very good singer and puts his heart and soul in the music. So well done Keane!!
Not only is the music good, but so are the lyrics. I love how each song tells a story and they are very poetic. Keane certainly have a way with words. Such lyrics include: "You will follow me make with the sun in your eyes and on your own / bed shaped and legs of stone" and "Oh simple thing, where have you been? I'm getting tired and I need something to rely on". So as you can see each song tells a story which makes it interesting to listen to.
I like the songs on here as they provide great 'easy-listening' music. To be honest, a lot of the songs, to be sound very similar and so I find it hard distinguishing which song is which. Songs which stand out for me include;
Somewhere Only We Know - I love the simple melody and I like how the lyrics tell a story. Even though I liked Lily Allen's version, I think actually prefer this version the most.
Bend and Break - Again another simple yet effective song. It's a nice easy listening song.
Bed shaped - I like this song. I find it's quite a sad song to listen to as it is full of emotion.
This Is The Last Time - Another classic Keane song!! Love it!
All in all, it's a thumbs up from me. I love this album; one of the best albums out there. Also, it's the kind of album which you can listen to over and over again without getting tired of.
Thanks for reading!
Xd-o-n-z-x / xd-o-n-z-x
Keane burst on to the scene with their piano and keyboard led indie/alternative music found on the debut album Hopes and Fears. Like Coldplay they do seem to fall victim to a number of critics maybe because the members of the group comes across as or present themselves anyway as well rounded polite young men. The absence of any guitars from their first couple of albums also caused some to scoff, however their unique blend of piano and keyboards, bass and drums and a healthy dose of a synthesiser created tunes at the time of release that was refreshing and stood out against the usual parade of hungry working class men with guitars banging out raw tunes about girls and other grievances. I am not criticising the latter as I love all that tremendously, it's just Keane offered something different.
Before I heard the band give an interview or I knew much about them I assumed wrongly that they were probably Irish due to the name, I thought they may have christened themselves in honour of Roy Keane, one of Eire's best players of all time but that just shows how football centric my mind is. I was wrong of course, apparently when they were a struggling band trying to break through a lady called Mrs Keane told them to persevere and not to give up on their dreams even when things were tough. That lady at some point died and the group decided they should finally be called just Keane after trial and error with a few names, a really nice story and a lovely tribute to that lady who encouraged them and believed in them.
Of the twelve songs on this album there are not really any that I don't like but I will particularly explain the tracks I really have warmed to since I knew of this album. The opening tune is Somewhere Only we Know and was the track that really brought the band to mine and probably lots of other people's attention. The intro to this song shows Keane's intent to use the piano strongly in their music and it is a great strong upbeat melody. Add to this lead singer Tom's pitch perfect singing and this is a wonderful start to the record and a great track to inspire you and warm your heart maybe when you are feeling a little down on life. This seems also like a fairly stripped down track, very raw without a lot of over production. I have noticed that debut albums seem to be a little like that on occasion and afterwards when it comes to second and third releases and producers get hold of them they can really go to town and create something almost completely different.
Second track Bend and Break is another strong melodic piano led tune. It is again very upbeat and jolly and one that doesn't fail to get you to notice it and with a strong chorus that is difficult to resist singing along with. Even though this wasn't released as a single as far as I know I think it could have been successfully as I have heard a number of people say that they really appreciate this song.
Things slow down somewhat with We might as well be Strangers. Tom sings backed by the piano and a pleasant synthesised sound of some sort I assume in the background. The lyrics are tremendous but very sad as he seems to be singing about the point in a relationship where the two people have really lost what they once had pointing out that they know so little about what the other is thinking it is as if they don't know each other at all. The point in track where he sings "We might as well" three times and then lingers over "be strangers" in a fairly controlled high pitch is very powerful.
Everybody's Changing is a popular track which again makes use of the piano in a very upbeat style with a fairly quick tempo. The lyrics are something to think about talking as they do about the world and people changing around about us and we feel like we are going nowhere and maybe not moving on even because we like things the way they are and don't want to. This track was covered by Lily Allen and although I think she is wonderful I don't think you can beat the original. The single release of this had a B side called Fly to Me which is really worth a listen if you can find it, I believe it is on YouTube somewhere.
Can't Stop Now is like a few others on Hopes and Fears, very jolly with plenty going on. I don't know if I'm correct but the lyrics almost sound like the person is singing about preservation of self and that he is too tired to help someone who needs to talk about a problem or something that is bothering them because to be honest he has too much on his mind at the moment anyway.
Sunshine is ever such a pleasant tune and very peaceful which is extremely calming, one of my favourites on this album in fact. This is the Last Time was a single and although I do like it I am not as fond of it as Somewhere Only we Know and the last track on this record Bedshaped. On a Day like Today is epic especially the ending which dare I say it sounds like the climax of a tune Coldplay would have produced in recent years. It is the kind of track I can listen to and get lost in my thoughts because of.
Finally I really love and adore Bedshaped, I always like to see how good the last song on an album is and this one is definitely not a letdown. It is not anywhere near as quick as some of the other tracks but is I suppose medium paced as it not as slow in my opinion as something like We might as well be strangers. Lead singer Tom's voice sounds superb on this song as he gives it a good work out particularly towards the end of the track and the use of a synthesiser I assume during the instrumental part of the song really makes this very unique and something that always remains in my mind. The video to this is also very intriguing and the style of which reminds of those Canterbury Tales animated shorts that used to be on BBC 2 or Channel 4 I think.
I genuinely believe there could be a track on here that everyone could enjoy some being fast and some being very slow. The heartfelt and moving lyrics along with epic piano and other synthesised sounds can really speak to you when you are feeling low and when you feeling like partying there are some you can dance to, this really is a very well accomplished debut album that people will remember for years to come.
~Reasons For Buying~
I didn't actually buy this album myself, I was very lucky to save myself the money as my mum gave it to me. She had it first and introduced me to it, then she said I could have it but sometimes she still borrows it back off me because it really is a brilliant album.
So anyway the reason she gave me this this is basically because I love it! My mum was playing it in the car one time and I instantly fell in love with it. I asked her what it was and she told me, "It is Keane". I said, "I am very Keane on it!"
If you want to know where she got it from and how much she paid for it there is a HMV label on the back saying normally £13.99, sale price £6.99. It is well worth that price!
The genres that this album falls under are indie rock and punk. This surprises me as I expected it to be categorised as slow rock or something similar instead. The songs are all sort of similar, but they don't sound the same or all drone into one. Reading through the track listing at the back when I read each title it instantly brings up the chorus in my head because each song is so catchy and basically just fantastic!
The kinds of instruments you will hear is guitars and, less often, drums.
1 Somewhere only we know
2 Bend and break
3 We might as well be strangers
4 Everybody's changing
5 Your eyes open
6 She has no time
7 Can't Stop Now
9 This is the last time
10 On a day like today
11 Untitled 1
I love all the tracks and can't possibly pick a favourite. They are all my favourite songs! This is one of the rare albums I have that when I put it on I actually listen to it all the way through without ever turning it to the next track. Also I have had this for about four years and haven't got bored of listening to it. I really do think it is that good!
Also I think the lyrics are really well written, too.
The version we have is special edition so I thought I would show off and tell you all about it! It looks just like the one in the picture except it is a dark emerald green colour instead of black. The disc itself is shiny silver and is like a mirror, you could use it to do your make up if you wanted!
The little booklet that you find at the front of most albums has photos of the band inside, as well as lyrics - just incase you want to sing along!
It would seem very stupid if I said I did not recommend this album after all the high praise I have just given it. But obviously I do recommend this - I love it and think it is one of the best albums of all time. I definitely recommend checking out some of their songs on youtube now if you haven't heard of the band before. They are ace! This is their best album though and I much prefer it to some of their new material.
Thanks for reading this xo
Keane were formed in 1995 and are a rock band. There were originally 4 members of this group how-ever the founder and guitarist of the band left in 2001. Keane have been nominated and have won many awards including Band of the Year in 2006, Best Album on the year in 2008 and some more awards such as Best International Band and other Best Album awards. Some of their songs have been used in TV series such as One Tree Hill, Smallville, Cold Case, Grey's Anatomy and more. Keane have released 3 albums which include Hopes & fears released in 2004, Under the Iron Sea released in 2996 and their final album in 2008 which was Perfect Symmetry.
***HEARING KEANE FOR THE FIRST TIME***
I was sat in the waiting room when I heard one of their songs called 'This Is The Last Time', I loved this song so decided to download a few more of their singles such as Bedshaped & Everybody's Changing. I enjoyed listening to all of these songs so thought I would buy their album as I thought they were a great band.
I bought this from an HMV store which cost me £10. You can also busy this on Amazon for £4.47, but this doesn't include postage costs.
Please note that there is a deluxe edition of this CD which contains more songs, and some live version but this cost's £22 from HMV.
***HOPES AND FEARS ALBUM***
The CD comes in cardboard packaging and is green in colour with the track listing on the back. Inside the cover of the CD is some information such as who the songs were written by, etc. The disc itself also has the track listing on and the name of the album. The track listing is as follows:
* Somewhere Only We Know
* Bend & Break
* We Might As Well Be Strangers
* Everybody's Changing
* Your Eyes Open
* She Has No Time
* Can't Stop Now
* This Is The Last Time
* On A Day Like Today
* Untitled 1
Some of these songs are well known such as Bedshaped, Everybody's Changing and This Is The Last Time. In 2001 BedShaped and This Is The Last Time was released and they used a piano as the lead instrument in these songs. A few personal favourites of mine of the CD are as follows:
* Somewhere Only We Know - This has been played a lot on the radio lately, so I'm not sure if this song had been re-released or not. To me this song talks about love but many people have also described it as someone's life ending as well & talking about their love and saying goodbye.
* Bend and Break - I find this a very emotional song and others may find it quite sad. The lyrics in this song are very emotional and powerful. You can particularly hear the piano in this track as the lyrics describe meeting someone on the other side when they wake.
* This Is The Last Time - This is the very first song I heard of Keane's which made me want to listen to more of their songs. It's quite upbeat and fast and has a very memorable chorus which you can easily sing along to.
* Bedshaped - This is quite a slow and also a very emotional song as well. This song is probably one of the most depressing and sad one's on their album and contains lyrics such as 'I know you think I'm holding you down, And I've fallen by the wayside now, And I don't understand the same things as you'.
I personally love this album and I don't think it's an album I will get bored of easily as I think the songs on it are just beautiful and so powerful with fantastic instruments which brings the songs and lyrics together. Some of the songs I'm sure many people can relate to. I would highly recommend this album, especially if you like rock/pop music. I only say rock/pop as this is the section it comes under in HMV, how-ever I wouldn't say this was pop as such but more rock. I think some people may get bored of this quite easily as some of the songs are a bit alike. I think this CD is very good value for money and although there maybe some similar bands to this one I think Keane stands out more to me than any others. This is a CD I will continue to play and enjoy.
(Review also on ciao)
I absolutely adore this album. The songs are great.... i love 'Bedshaped', 'This is the last time' and 'somewhere only we know'.
Keane are a new concept. 1 singer, 1 piano/keyboard guy and 1 drummer. (all gorgeous).
So far they have released 3 singles from their debut album, 'Bedshaped', 'Everybody's changing' and 'somewhere only we know'. They are just popping up in America now (i saw them on VH1 over there)! i think there going to stick around for a while.
1 - Somewhere Only We know - This song has quite a grungy rocky yet beautiful feel to it. It is simple. The intro is only Drums, Bass, and guitar. It then goes into Him singing with only simple piano chords (reminiscent of Mad World) accompanying. Its got quite a good video with strange little alien thingies. (unfortuneately not on the album.)
I have played this too much now though! so its not good any mroe. But i played it loads and loads of times before i got sick of it! I think you can hear a little sample clip of it on keanemusic.com
2 - Bend and Break - I quite like this one. The way in which the piano is used is quite guittarry. Uses a couple of computerry effects at points and also a synthesised guitar.
3 - We Might As Well Be Strangers - A very chilled out feel to it. Very minimalisty - only piano singing and drums. Very nice but not amazing.
4 - Everybody's Changing - This is one of the songs that was released. Very nice but again not one of my favourites. In my opinion the pianoey bits are a bit too pedally.... I quite like the video though... Lots of synthesisery bits.
5 - Your Eyes Open - This one is OK.... abit similar to the rest of the songs but still good. I like it. Lots of ice rainy synthesiser bits. And the piano seems to use the pedal throughout the song!?
6 - She Has No Time - This ones sooo cool! its so nice and simple! The guys b-e-a-utiful voice is so nice! it goes qutie high in this one wow..... hes gorgeous.....
Sorry - quick interval! I would just like to say i think the guys in the band are GORgeous especially the main one! And the piano one... and the drum one......
7 - Can't Stop Now - Nice upbeat one after that other one lol..... One of my favs..... The song is great! its so well-written and the texture changes really well... love it.....
8 - Sunshine - Echoey. Very introspective i think is the word.... I like the beginnings of most of Keane's songs the best mostly! And this one is definitely no exception. Use of nice little synthesised bells and stuff. I love how they switch to bits and add stuff each time lol... you'll know what i mean if you listen to it!
9 - This is the Last Time - The first single released from this album. The video is so funky it has this pink stuff that makes the trees grow or something...... This one is good as well. As i listen to these while writing i realise that they all sound the same! still good though.... anyway...... nice ice rainy synthesiserry bits (surprise surprise!)
10 - On A Day Like Today - Uses synthesiser 'drip' like percussion and stringy synthesiser bits in background. Quiet + laid back at the beginning and then texture builds up. I love this one! Lovely chords on piano
11 - Untitled 1 - Reminds me of a Scissor Sisters song but i dont know which one.... Anyway im not a fan of this song. A bit like the rest of the album! not gonna waste my fingers typing about it.....
12 - Bedshaped - MY ABSOLUTE FAV SONG ON THE ALBUM!!!! i ADORE this song... its so beautiful... and the video always makes me cry as well! Starts off with weird squeaky quiet synthesiser thing then enters nice keyboard bits. Then he sings! And it goes on a little bit like that.... i have to say my favourite bit in the song is when they have the sample voices near the end... before the last chorus.... anyway this is my fav song! If oyu dont buy the album, buy this on the single its so beautiful and so worth it. Brings a tear to my eye........
Anyway! i really like this album and loads of my friends at school do to. If you like Coldplay you will love Keane! And if my review was a bit shite then you can listen to a clip on keanemusic.com!
PS he sings bloody high doesnt he?!
First of all let me say that this is one of my favourite albums of all time so its hard for me to say which songs are my favourites but I'll try anyway.
(1) Somewhere only we know, the second single released off this album and probably my favourite Keane song. The lyrics are great, a definite sing along song for concerts.
(2) Bend and Break, the piano as always works very well. The chorus is great as well. Quite a powerful song.
(3) We might as well be strangers; I've only really gotten to like this song recently. It starts off very slowly. Quite a sad song lyrically.
(4) Everybody's changing, the first single released off this album and the one that shot them to fame. Its easy to see why.
(7) Can't stop now, definitely one of my favourites of all their songs. The lyrics are good as is the chorus.
(9) This is the last time, this is the third single released off this album. It's very hard not to sing along to. The chorus again is excellent.
(12) Bedshaped, this is the last song they played at the Belfast concert and it's easy to see or hear why. It's quite a sad song but with a very powerful chorus.
This is the debut album from the band Keane; they are quite different due to the fact that they don't have a guitar anywhere on this album. This is one of my favourite albums ever, end of.
It's really cheap to buy now as well so get it!
Hopes and Fears is the debut album from British threesome Keane. It's a mixture of piano and pop - a fresh and funky sound in a world where a lot of music sounds the same nowadays. This album features several styles of music - there's some slow ballads and some more upbeat numbers, all of which shows they can cover a wide range of sounds.
The track listing is as follows:
1. Somewhere Only We Know - 3:57 This was the first single from the album, and therefore the track that everyone knows! Its got a catchy chorus and a driving piano beat. They do tend to stick to the same tune throughout the song though, which can get a bit boring.
2. Bend and Break - 3:40 This song starts with the pumping piano tune, and it continues throughout the song. Its another one with a catchy chorus, guaranteed to get you humming along! This is a great song that is good enough to be a single.
3. We Might As Well Be Strangers - 3:12 This is a more heartfelt ballad, it starts off with a simple vocal melody over piano chords. As the second verse begins the drums are introduced, keeping pace. This is a bit of a disappointing song, it just seems to plod along. I was waiting for something to happen... but it never did.
4. Everybody's Changing - 3:35 This was the second single from the album, yet another feel good song with a catchy chorus. A funky piano tune again which sticks in your head - they are good at that!!
5. Your Eyes Open - 3:23 Starts off with a piano tune over drums... The opening lines seem a good tune and very catchy, the chorus bursts into life and really brings the song alive. A good tune, the lyrics don't seem fantastic but I'll let that slip because the music's good.
6. She Has No Time - 5:45 This is a mellow tune, with a relaxing drum beat. For me this is a bit of a dreary song, and the vocals in the chorus are just a little bit too high for my liking! Hmm. I skipped this song halfway through as it seems flat and repetitive.
7. Can't Stop Now- 3:38 Keane specialise in funky piano beats - and this is another classic example! Its very catchy which ensures the tune stays in your head long after the song has finished. A cheerful little number.
8. Sunshine - 4:12 This one is a bit strange... starts out with a weird tune about little animals, very light and wispy vocals, however a good tune. Then the beat kicks in to give it a little life. The song seems to use the same tunes with no variation throughout the song, which leaves me feeling a bit bored by halfway through.
9. This Is the Last Time - 3:29 This starts out with a cheerful piano accompaniment to light vocals. Soon the beat kicks in, and the song really begins. The vocals liven up to a cheery tune, and the chorus is very joyful and catchy. A toe-tapper.
10. On a Day Like Today - 5:27 This one is a slow ballad, which shows off the vocal talent of the lead singer. He can cover a wide range of notes and his voice sounds and sure and strong as ever all the way through. However the song isn't one of the best on the album.
11. Untitled 1 - 5:36 Starts out with a funky drum beat, but the vocals don't match the energy of the beat! Very slow vocals, with a lot of long notes. I find the song hard going, it feels like it desperately needs to liven up a bit. I skip this song too.
12. Bedshaped - 4:37 This is a more melancholy song to finish the album off with, it has a chorus that just cries out for you to croon along to it! This is my favourite track off the album, I think it has a haunting tune to it which is really atmospheric.
Overall this is a good album to mellow out to, and well worth a listen.
This is Keanes debut album and was released in 2004. It became the biggest selling album in 2004 and continued to sell well in 2005. The members of Keane are:
Vocals: Tom Chaplin
Piano: Tim Rice-Oxley
Drums: Richard Hughes
Somewhere Only We Know - This song is about a special place. It could be to a couple or just to one person. "I'm getting old and I need something to rely on" suggests that this place is somewhere that comforted him when he was younger. He also says "is this the place we used to love?" I thing the song is about an old relationship and they had a special place. This song was written by Keane piano player Tim Rice-Oxley.
Bend And Break - I think this song is about his partner having problems, maybe emotional or physical. He says, "meet me in the morning when you wake up". This means he will help the partner and be there when they are better. "If only I don't bend and break" and "If only I don't suffocate" mean that he is having problems coping with the partner. As long as he can see it through, he will be there on the other side.
We Might As Well be Strangers - This song is about friends/partners growing apart. "I don't know your face no more" and "I don't understand your heart, it's easier to be apart" Suggest that it is a partner. Basically the two people might as well be strangers as they don't know anything about each other anymore.
Everybody's Changing - This song is about trying to carry on as normal while everyone around you is changing. This could be because all of the singer's friends are drifting away and getting married/ getting new jobs. He says, "Trying to make a move just to stay in the game". I think the singer is maybe jealous because he is staying the same while his friends are all moving on. I can relate to this game as all of my friends from school have gone different ways and now all of my college friends are off to different universities.
Your Eyes Open - This is about a lover or friend who has decided not to know the singer anymore. The reasons for this are bad as the singer says, "it's a lonely road you have chosen". Maybe the person needs help and refuses to agree to it. Eventually they will realise but it may be too late, "for a moment your eyes open and you know all the things I ever wanted you to know."
She Has No Time - This song is about being lonely after you have split up with your girlfriend/wife. I related to this song when I finished college and didn't hear from any of my friends for weeks. "She says she has no time for you now" suggests the girl didn't leave because she wanted to. The singer also says "she can hardly breathe without you".
Can't Stop Now - I think this song is about a relationship which is a waste of time. It could be a romantic relationship but I think it sounds like a friendship. The singer is feeling guilty for leaving their friend, "well I know I said I'd wait around till you need me but I have to go, I hate to let you down." He has been focusing all of his attention on his friends problems and not his own. He says "the world has been turning while i've been stood here dithering around."
Sunshine - I think this song is about finding the person you belong with. "can anybody find their home?" means can anybody find the person they belong with. The first verse is talking about being in love with somebody. It says that only an idiot would let the person go. Of course this meaning is not written anywhere in the song, it is just what I heard when I listened to the words. This song sounds beautiful.
This Is The Last Time - From the lyrics, I think that this song is about his girlfriend who has lied to him in some way and he is not ready to forgive her just yet. "The first of many lies, sweep it into the corner or hide it under the bed, say these things go away but they never do." He says, "This is the last time you fall on me for anything you like" i.e. the last time she lies to him as he is leaving. He does say though that years may make everything alright.
On A Day Like Today - I think this song is about the end of a relationship. He has realised that the lover is fed up of him. "I saw you were sick and tired of my wrong turns" suggests that he has done things wrong. He doesn't know how to make it right "I could never seem to say the things I needed to". He is not begging her to keep him but more explaining that he is sorry it couldn't work out.
Untitled 1 - I think this song is about a guy who fell in love with a girl but then found her different than he was expecting. "who ate your heart, you're cold inside, you're not the one I hoped for" suggests that the girl turned cold towards him.
Bedshaped - My favourite Keane song. This song is really sad. To me, it seems to be about a loved one being seriously ill in hospital. "Bedshaped and legs of stone" suggests that the person has been in a hospital bed for a while. The singer seems to think that the person is going to die as he says, "you'll knock on my door and up we'll go". I think this song may be about giving permission for euthanasia. The singer refuses to give permission. I got this from the line, "I know you think i'm holding you down." Also, the line "you'll knock on my door and up we'll go, in white light I don't think so, but what do I know?" The singer thinks it is wrong to switch off the machine but is not sure. This is a deep and mysterious song.
I'm 45, and have to admit that musically I tend to live a lot in the 70's and 80's... I certainly bought nothing throughout the 90's!
When I first heard Keane on the radio, singing Everybody's Changing, I was immediately gripped by it. I thought the lyrics were touching and poignant, the singing was evocative and the music - well that reminded me of the 80's, all that keyboard and echo quality to it!
Then I heard This is The Last Time, and again I thought how well written the lyrics were and that the whole package just sounded so good.
After hearing Somewhere Only We Know I realised I just had to buy the CD, my first purchase of a CD (other than compilation or oldie) for about 10 years.
Wow, i was blown away!! What a great album, it actually lived up to what I'd heard on the radio. The lyrics are poetry; haunting and poignant, meaningful and deep, and completely matched by the wonderful keyboard sounds that echo around the music like ghosts, pulling at the sound to bring out all it's glory.
Sorry, got a bit poetic there. It's just an amazing album, and one that caused me to start listening to the music that's coming out now, as tuneful and more melodic sounds are once again hitting out ears.
It is sometimes hard to believe when listening to Hopes and Fears that Keane are only a three piece band. Pianist/keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley creates a full, flowing musical backdrop for lead vocalist Tom Chaplin to sing across that puts some five-piece rock bands to shame. Drummer, Richard Hughes, doesn't show off anything highly inventive in his playing, but he holds the songs together, providing the perfect grooves to keep the songs moving along.
For me, the main joy of listening to Keane is the sound of Tom Chaplain's voice. He sings with passion. He also sings extremely well, comfortably hitting high As - and beyond! His voice is perfectly clear - every word can be heard.
The songwriting could be described as bland and, on this album, some tracks do feel a little lacking in the lyrics department. There's some kind of vague philosophy running through the tracks, but nothing that can really be pinned down. "She Has No Time" and "Can't Stop Now" have particularly unmemorable lyrics. Saying this, "Can't Stop Now" is still a wonderful song - indddeed, one of the strongest "non-single" tracks. For me, this track is more about the beat, the cleverly woven melody and the persisting ascending bassline of the chorus - it really is quite uplifting.
Other highlights on the album (other than the extremely popular "Everybody's Changing" and the beautiful "Somewhere Only We Know") is the rather cute (almost Simon and Garfunkelesque?) "Sunshine" - which bobs along with a cheery summery style. "Bedshaped" is another spine-tinglingly splendid song - soaring synths and highly poetic lyrics (i.e. I don't know what they mean!) make a rather anthemic close for the album.
A delightful debut album from a band that defy general convention, ditching guitars for the sometimes smooth, sometimes cutting, often powerful and always musical tones of the electric piano (and other assorted synths!)
If I need to put on some relaxing music whilst lounging in the sun, or I need to chill or want something emotional to suit the mood, then I need look no further than Keane's first album, entitled 'Hopes and Fears'. It is an album combining melodic piano music with a light rock style. It never gets heavy, but the tempo changes on a regular basis throughout the album, enough to keep me listening all the way through.
The band formed back in 1995, yet their first album was not released until 2004. This, to me, speaks of dedication and experience. They are not a band who has only just started and then released their first album in too hurried a format.
'Hopes and Fears' boasts some big success singles, such as 'Everybody's Changing' and 'This Is The Last Time'. Power Ballad tracks like 'We Might As Well Be Srangers' are also present, and this is very much one of the first albums released in a pop/rock industry era which is seeing bands such as The Fray and The Feeling bringing in similar modern power ballad rock music anthems. The band are preceded in style by Coldplay, and indeed many comparisons have been drawn between Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and that of Keane, Tom Chaplin.
These are the tracks:
1. Somewhere Only We Know
2. Bend And Break
3. We Might As Well Be Strangers
4. Everybody's Changing
5. Your Eyes Open
6. She Has No Time
7. Can't Stop Now
9. This Is The Last Time
10. On A Day Like Today
11. Untitled 1
The vocal talents of Tom Chaplin are instantly recognisable. He has a wide vocal range which is highly praised amongst the music world. Commercially, while Keane's music is praised, if I were to have one criticism of this album, it is that all the tracks could be considered too similar. Unless you have listened to the CD a few times, it would be tricky to discern between those tracks which have not made it onto the commercial singles market. Yet this is not something unique. Most albums released by groups these days have very similar tracks, so there is no shame in this being any different.
Another possible criticism is that if you need lifting or if you want something a bit more upbeat, or even if you are tired and wish to stay awake, avoid this. The music is not particularly lifting, and while the tempo changes, it does not do so in a rousing way, it does so in a melodic and ballad-like style. Some may find it depressing.
This having been said, my conclusion of this review is that 'Hopes and Fears' is a very good album, but for the right mood. I rate it 4 stars as this is a style of music I do not find depressing, and I can appreciate the musical skill involved here. I really like this CD, down to the last track. None are less in quality than the others, which you often see with albums.
If you want to know more about the band and its music, visit www.keanemusic.com.
The CD can currently be bought from amazon.co.uk from £0.99, although this is used. New copies up at £7.97.
This review may also appear on ciao.co.uk
Thanks for reading.
I was not fully impressed with this album, it is kind of ugly sounding, ugly in it's insistence on a smooshy emotionalism sentimentalism which gets tiresome and repetative after listening to it a lot of times. At first I liked it, i was attracted to its summer-like catchy ness and its romantic imagery of being sat by a stream, comtemplating the rushing waters. But there problem is, this was something of a recurring theme, and after a while I got tired of feeling happy and smooshy and sentimental. I felt sorry for him that his relationship with his girl friend went sour and they were like strangers when they were once quite close. I felt sorry for him that he has to live in a grotty northern town where crows circle over against a monotone sky and shabby rows of victorian housing, i felt sorry that his band is little more than an uneventful dive in to sentimental self pity, which feels good at first but then makes you want to punch his smudgy face.
It seems like there is a current fashion for this kind of middle-of-the-road drivvle, i remember bands like Oasis and Embrace, how they attracted legions of luckwarm, adoring fans, how they were able to make money out of a one trick musical style and tapping in to a certain english charcteristic which likes to follow the crowd and like music which doesnt ask for much, it simply asks that you ask nothing more than a smooshy feeling, whcih can be repeated again and again until track 12 finished and then you can pretty play again and play it all the way through and never once regret having spent 12 pounds of your hard earned cash.
I have one vital thing to warn you about, before buying this record, if you do, which is tolerably acceptable, then you should be prepared that every single one of Keane's forthcoming albums will be exactly the same, and in stead of purchasing their next album, you must instead simple sell this once to a second hand store, and buy it back immedoatly, and trick you brain in to thinking you have just bought Keane;s new album. This will work, provide you with the same emotions, and whats more, it will save you half the price of an album.
Despite all their recent fame and glory, there was no overnight success for Keane. Although they stormed into the charts with their debut album "Hopes & Fears" in 2004, they'd actually been around for nearly ten years beforehand, forming way back in 1995. They've been described by one source as "Radiohead covering Aha". Reassuringly, Keane claim their name has nothing to do with the former Manchester United midfielder; rather they take their name from a female acquaintance who was inspirational to them in their formative years. Keane are without a guitar player and use the mix of keyboards, vocals and drums to create their music. The band is made up of Tim Rice-Oxley (31) on keyboards, Tom Chaplin (27) vocals and Richard Hughes (32) on drums. Originally from Battle in East Sussex, they used to rehearse and record in a little old room in Tim's parents' house.
The road to fame and glory was not easy for Keane. Tim Rice-Oxley and Dom Scott formed the band in Battle in 1995 and they invited Richard Hughes to join them as their drummer. In 1997, they became a four-piece band when they were joined by singer Tom Chaplin, as the others all decided they couldn't sing. The following year they moved from Battle to London in order to try and get a record deal. The next couple of years saw them release a couple of singles on their own label Zoomorphic and play as support at a Chesney Hawkes concert. In 2001, Dom left the band due to their lack of success and "musical differences". The following year, they released two singles on the Fierce Panda label "Everybody's Changing" and "This is the Last Time". Following the success of the latter, they were offered an astounding 21 recording deals by various record companies. In 2003 they signed a deal with Island Records and released the single "Somewhere Only We Know" in February 2004. This was followed by the re-release of "Everybody's Changing" in May 2004.
The best known tracks on this album are of course the four that were released into the charts that year "Somewhere Only We Know", "Everybody's Changing", "Bedshaped" and "This Is The Last Time". Indeed, in 2004, it was rather difficult not to turn on the radio and hear one or other of them being played. Many Keane tracks now remind me of that rather long hot summer spell we had in July and August of that year. All the songs on their debut album were written by Keane themselves.
The album kicks off with the rather splendid "Somewhere Only We Know". It's a superb opening track with an evocative and repetitive piano backdrop which climbs to an explosive crescendo. You've heard it once and you're humming it all day long, believe you me. It has simple but evocative lyrics about finding some peace and tranquility in a familiar place. This one is particularly emotive if you turn the volume up loud (especially if it's your birthday, and you feel like you're getting on a bit in years....."Oh simple things where have you gone? / I'm getting old and I need something to rely on / So tell me when you're gonna let me in / I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin").
Next up we have "Bend And Break", with a great jaunty keyboard and drum backdrop. These are flawlessly matched by Tom Chaplin's superb vocals, which are sung with voice breaking emotion. It's a rather catchy track - uplifting and memorable. You're then bought down emotionally by "We Might As Well Be Strangers", a slower more mournful song. This track sounds a little like Radiohead in the beginning, but it soon swells to the crescendo chorus that dominate many Keane tracks. The lyrics suggest a failed love affair. This is a song that really could make you cry big time if you're going through relationship problems ("We might as well be strangers in another town / We might as well be living in a different world / We might as well").
"Everybody's Changing" always makes me want to cry, as it was released at a time in my life when we'd just received some rather upsetting family news. Everything in my life went topsy turvy for a while, and the lyrics really did sum about the uncertainty I was feeling about the future ("So little time / Try to understand that I'm / Trying to make a move just to stay in the game / Trying to stay awake and remember my name / Because everybody's changing/ And I don't feel the same"). At one stage you couldn't turn on the TV or radio without catching this playing. It's another excellent keyboard backdrop of repetitive notes that really do get into your head. Emotional lyrics, superlative vocals and crescendo chorus - a truly memorable record. This is the sort of record that should have been snapped up as the soundtrack to a film.
The next two tracks are slower and more somber; "Your Eyes Open" is a pretty enough tune but it's not particularly memorable and it's not one of my favourites. The same could be said for "She Has No Time", which tells the sad tale of a failed love affair. Lovely vocals, but they do sound a little bit like Radiohead again, especially at the beginning of the song, which is a little emotionless. However, the song is saved by a typical crescendo Keane chorus, which injects some of the missing feeling into the song. Things go up a tempo next with "Can't Stop Now". Big piano sounds dominate this track - it's upbeat and the emotion shines through in the lyrics. This track amply demonstrates the keyboard skills of Tim Rice-Oxley to a tee. The same cannot be said for "Sunshine", which I always tend to skip past. It's rather a strange one - a little bit airy-fairy and hippyish. This track is really not one of their stronger moments. It's a pretty enough lyric about protecting and sheltering, but it really doesn't go anywhere. It just sounds like a 1960's/1970's flowers in your hair type track.
"This Is The Last Time" is another well known song, and a fairly atypical Keane track in that it starts slowly and builds to a crescendo. It's all about saying goodbye and leaving, and it's sung with gut-wrenching emotion. Another memorable and catchy tune with superb keyboard backdrop. The sort of song that could easily become an anthem if you're in the process of breaking up with someone. Similarly, "On A Day Like Today" tells another story of a failed love affair ("But I could never seem to say / The things I needed to / on a day like today / No other words would do"). Keane once again demonstrate their first class lyrics and vocals by really expressing their emotions in their songs. A slow track sung with real feeling - Tom Chaplin's voice almost cracks with emotion. A real tearjerker with outstanding piano backdrop. This one is best listened too loudly so you can really wallow in the emotions and music.
"Untitled 1" is a bit like "Sunshine" in that it doesn't really do anything for me. It opens with a simple piano rhythm and drumbeat, but the vocals lack feeling and they end up sounding a bit Radiohead again. It sounds a bit space age and hippyish - I could see them launching into the age of Aquarius halfway through this one. It's definitely not one of their finer moments - maybe that's why they haven't named it.
The album concludes with the rather splendid "Bedshaped", and it really is a superb conclusion to a first class album. It has that catchy piano backdrop again with a slow start building into a blinding chorus. Chaplin really knows how to drain the last drop of emotion into the lyrics here with superb vocals and excellent keyboard accompaniment ("Don't laugh at me / Don't look away / You'll follow me back"). Lovely stuff, and my all time favourite Keane track....though I'd love to know exactly what "bedshaped" means.....
Full track listing:-
 Somewhere Only We Know (highest chart position = 3 in February 2004)
 Bend And Break
 We Might As Well Be Strangers
 Everybody's Changing (highest chart position = 4 in May 2004)
 Your Eyes Open
 She Has No Time
 Can't Stop Now
 This Is The Last Time (highest chart position = 18 December 2004)
 On a Day Like Today
 Untitled 1
 Bedshaped (highest chart position = 10 in August 2004)
I still like this album a lot - in fact I've been consistently listening to it on and off for the last two to three years now. It's a superb collection of songs. Most of the songs are short. They mostly have simple lyrics and repetitive choruses. There are few clever instrumental sections - just excellent vocals and well-sung songs. After ten years of struggling to be heard in the music industry, I think that Keane really did earn their success, and I hope they continue to write and produce such good music for many years to come. It's true they do sound a little like Radiohead in some of the slower songs, but this is perhaps due to the fact that Tom Chaplin sounds somewhat like Thom Yorke in voice. Musically, their songs are more tuneful and not so "off the wall". However, I fail to see where the Aha comparison comes in as I have yet to hear a track that sounds anything like Aha.......can anyone else? This is a superb collection of songs and contains something for everyone. If I had to make any criticism at all it is that some of the songs are a bit mournful and unhappy, but they're never sung without gut wrenching emotion. I really do think that Keane did the hard graft on their ladder to success and that they're here to stay now.
Universal Island Records released the album on 10th May 2004. It can be picked up rather cheaply now due to it being several years old.
Online it can be bought at:
www.amazon.co.uk £6.97 or from Amazon marketplace from £2.99
Further information on Keane can be found at:
www.keanemusic.com or www.keane.at
In February 2005, Hope and Fears won the best British Album award at the Brits (as well as the award for Best British Breakthrough Act)
Ever since I, at 49, purchased an MP3 player, no, NOT an iPOD, I have been obsessed with in a journey of musical discovery. I come from a time , the 60's and 70's where for the most part, you could name in about 1 minute all the major players in music and that would cover nearly everyone. Today, there are so many bands and solo artists, it is literally impossible to keep abreast of them all. So, you find a good website, in my case, last.fm.com and allofmp3.com and listen until you plotz. This is where I discovered the mellifluous sounds of Keane. It was playing on last.fm.com the song She Has No Time. I loved it, right out of the gate. I had instantly thought of 80's music, which most people may agree was the worst time in rock and roll history. But there were some great songs, just ask my 20 y/o daughter. There is such a strong 80's buzz about the music but the cord changes and vocal ranges yield a much more complete and satisfying sound that is hard to escape. I wish them further success.
For those that feel the sound is consistent throughout the album, and to most extents, you are correct, that, however is not a drawback. Neil Young is consistently same sounding on many of his albums despite the fact that he is often all over the place, but that is no detraction from the music. In fact it is welcome. Guys like Todd Rundgren can confuse a fan when too many changes are incorporated into a single album, not me though. I welcome the sweet, alpha-wave induction I get when listening to Keane. Expression and heart are what make up great music. Even instrumental tracts hold a feeling dear to the author/composer. Just check out some great classical some time. But I digress. I did purchase the album and plan on listening to their 2006 release soon. It is not like I can't wait, but I am eager to be enveloped in waves of warming soul reaching melodies and subjective, heart-felt lyrics.
I had seen this advertised widely and had heard a few of thier songs on the radio. Not entirely impressed with them, and would almost certainly have not purchased the album on my own accord. However, my girlfriend decided to buy it and i ended up having nothing better to do than listen to it. At first i thought the album lacked appeal, it seemed repetative and without anything to catch the attention. After listenting to it a few times though, the individual character of each song began to emerge. The subtle differences between them making an excellent collection.
"I walked along an empty land, I knew the pathway like the back of my hand", the lyrics make a somewhat moody almost ghostly affect of suffering and boredom, heartbreak and betrayal. The songs meander through a path of exploration of everyday emotional problems, distance, isolation. A wonderfully mounrful song about the ending of a love affair, where the two lover are no longer united but have become 'strangers', of course many with resonate with these issues.
The pace of the album is slow, ballads and love songs, nothing to dance to, rather music to sit back, relax to, it can inspire dreamy states of revery. The beauty of the melodies and romantic lyrics, alluding to the beauty of nature and strong emotional troubles are truley captivating.
If you liked bands like Travis, this is a huge step up, a similar theme, but executed in a greatly more accomplished fashion. Not dwelling on and perhaps even glorifying melancholy, but instead exploring this state as a temporary phase, either side of joy and ecstacy, which is what life is about.
Hardly a weak song in this whole album, which is what is even more remarkable about it. The attention is kept from start to finish. I would highly recommend it.