Hello Ms Magic America.
I'm a massive fan of the band Keane. They are a group of five people, Mr. Tom Chaplin, the singer with the voice of an angel and face of a strange twisted (yet happy) child, Mr. Timothy Rice Oxlade-Chamberlain, a keyboard, which he tinkles the keys to creating strange new worlds, then he disappear for hours only to arrive with a bang at the end of concerts for people to ask, "where he came from? I did not notice that he's gone?" drummer and bassist (regular rhythm section), and the rapper, who appears from time to time (but does not seem like the new one).
I digress. After a pretty pop melodies and well-perfectionism of the first record, hopes and fears, dark twisted realism and cold, shriveled, bony truth is album 2, Under The Ironing Board, mad, swirling, colorful t-shirt and jeans kitchen sink pop Perfect Symmetry and EP that no one bought, but still managed to reach number one, it's a completely new direction for Keane.
Chaplin appears on the first song on his own. In fact, there are twelve minutes before any other members of the group appear. Keane must feel that giving their lead singer in the spotlight to start a new album, they are a) investing in the conservation of energy for later, and b) give him what he wants, but it is always important when managing the ego of the group (although they must feel some regret, when he pulls out a piccolo solo, playing a sharp, clever riff on a child's keyboard at the same time).
After the break, the rest of the band chime in every way. Instrumentation of all kinds make appearances. Even the tools you did not know. Keyboards, synths, bass, treble bass, bass to the power of fifty, mixing desk, harpsichord, organ, bassoon, bassevensooner, bassrighthererightnow and, of course, old faithful tambourines. In the end, on track 15 on the road, they finally drown out the cherubic groans of Chaplin. It ends with a ballad.
The first time I heard this, I was not sure. The second time I liked it. The third time I loved it. The fourth time I heard mother Boris vaccing so I hated it. For the fifth time I was interupted after a four track so I felt unfulfilled. Then I started to do what you always do when you get the album, skipping tracks and just listen to my favorite bits. Then I started listening to other artists.
Overall I would say that seven out of ten, although it may not appeal to fans of more traditional Keane sound, where five adult males in the room, trying to make the piano sound like a guitar. But I'm happy with it.