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Pop music from the 80s gets a lot of unwarranted criticism for being cheesy, self-indulgent and frivolous thematically speaking. What people often forget is that songwriters that rose to prominence in the 80s had a strong grasp of melody. Their ability to craft hook-laden melodies with ornate harmonies layered over them was quite remarkable. It seems like over time, that ability has slowly been eroded from the community of commercial musicians. The first sign of a revival of melody happened when British pop/rock band Keane emerged from out of nowhere with their decade-defining debut album “Hopes and Fears“.
The piano-driven rock template of “Hopes and Fears” was a winner for Keane in every possible way. The songs had an anthemic quality with soaring choruses. Keane seemed fearless when it came to experimentation with different styles. In fact, in 2010, they were at the receiving end of a LOT of criticism for morphing into a pop band with their 8-track EP “Night Train“. The criticism was particularly ruthless for the EP’s lead single “Stop for a minute” which featured rapper K’Naan. Through the band’s reinventions and a return to roots on their last album “Strangeland“, the one constant that stands out is the band’s commitment to melody. In fact, they were once aptly described as “master manipulators of melody”.
It is hard to imagine that the band has been around for a decade. It seems like it was only yesterday that international superstar George Michael touted Keane as the British band to watch out for at a press conference for the release of his documentary titled “A Different Story“. After and 10 years in the business and 5 #1 UK albums, the band believes it is time for a career retrospective. The timing of it seems quite right. It seems like the logical next step after a stylistic return to the sonic template of “Hopes and Fears” on “Strangeland” thus making the album musical twins. One can only hope that this is not the end for the band – and is just the beginning of Chapter 2 of their career. The “Best of Keane” is slated to release on November 11. The album will be released in three format. They are as follows:
Deluxe Edition – wherein the expanded list of songs is comprised almost entirely of the band’s brilliant B-sides.
Super-deluxe edition – This is essentialy the Deluxe Edition with a DVD and a book added into the mix. This is the format for die-hard fans.
The tracklist for the Standard Edition is as follows:
Somewhere Only We Know
Bend and Break
This Is The Last Time
Is It Any Wonder?
Nothing In My Way
A Bad Dream
Silenced By The Night
Sovereign Light Café
Higher Than the Sun
Won’t Be Broken
One look at the tracklisting will undoubtedly provide a revealing insight into what the band believes were the most significant elements of their legacy. Half the tracklisting is dominated by songs from the first two Keane albums. The noteworthy omission from the is “Your Love” (featured in the “Night Train EP”). The two new tracks on the album are “Higher than the sun” and “Won’t be broken“. The prospect of new Keane singles is always exciting.
One can only hope that Chapter 2 of Keane’s career is at least half as eventful as Chapter 1. The band’s stellar legacy is a collection of musical gems with a timeless quality. Keane is undoubtedly the greatest band to emerge in the new millennium and the “Best Of Keane” will remind listeners of that. Here is the trailer for the new greatest hits collection.
RADIO ALERT: Our radio station Radio Creme Brulee features an eclectic mix of current pop/rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside hits, guilty pleasures, and forgotten gems from the last three decades. The music of Keane is a regular staple on our radio station. That should serve as an incentive for you to check us out. IF you are reading this on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet etc.), CLICK HERE to listen to our radio station. If not, listen to our station from ANY part of the world by clicking on the button below.