Comfort food for the ear-buds

Friday, May 11, 2012

Keane. "Strangeland" (Island Records)

Something about Tom Chaplin's voice makes me melt. It's what makes Keane recognizable over the radio, and it's an easy voice to get lost in.

Fans of Keane's earlier work will love "Strangeland". It's got the same piano-dominant sound that made them famous, and some of the melodies catch you by surprise, even though you've heard them a thousand times before.

They've got a big sound, and "Strangeland" is no different. Songs like "You Are Young," "Disconnected," and "Sovereign Light Cafe" would be amazing to see live.

Keane wanted to take the focus off production with this album, something they'd done with their earlier work but drew away from with "Perfect Symmetry".

"We wanted it to be less production-led, and focused on making sure that the songs were great," Chaplin told "NME" magazine in March.

The result is a collection of songs such as "Neon River":

"She said the neon on the river will light my way / and all the things that we've been dreaming of a making them real one day / so save our money pack your bags / we better run before we disappear / she took the train to the city but you're still here."

"Strangeland" is their first full-length album since 2008's "Perfect Symmetry," but the band shows no signs of stopping.

"Strangeland" is available, beginning May 4.