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Under the Iron Sea

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Editors’ Notes

It’s hard to fathom that Keane is a guitar-less trio. Their drums-bass-keyboards approach is so ornate, lush, and atmospheric that their every tune turns into a pocket symphony rife with melodrama. That they could approach this grand mastery without the usual six-string culprit is a singular achievement. This East Sussex, UK trio have never met a special effect they couldn’t twist to their advantage and their second studio album, Under the Iron Sea, utilizes their sonic expertise to massive effect. In the tradition of early Radiohead (before they became an art project), Coldplay, and U2 (for whom they opened on tour), Keane combine this profound love for ambient atmospherics with song emphasizing fancy melodies that push singer Tom Chaplin’s voice all over the scale. The unexpected success of their debut album – two Brit awards, a Grammy nomination, actual record sales – stressed the band to the near breaking-up point and that tension, along with a deteriorating world situation, fuels the melancholic strains of “Leaving So Soon?,” “A Bad Dream” and “Hamburg Song.”

Customer Reviews


I have been a huge Keane fan since the release of Hopes and Fears. After hearing powerful keyboard-driven tracks like Somewhere Only We Know, Everybody's Changing and This Is The Last Time, it was clear that this band was headed in a fantastic direction. Then, around 6 months later, I hear that Keane wound be producing a follow-up. I anxiously awaited new batch of new powerfully haunting keyboard. Then I heard Is It Any Wonder and completely switched my perspective. Keane was moving in a powerful new direction towards almost techno-pop type areas. The isn't to say that it isn't fantastic music, which it is. It is just to illustrate an interesting progression that may be desired to some, accepted by others and even resented for its creativity. In the present, this is one of the best albums of this year and recent years. Keane delivers this one hugely. Buy it now. You won'd be disappointed one bit. Atlantic: Incredible first track. Spectacular lyrics. 5* Is It Any Wonder?: Brilliant single. Just an awesome track. 5* Nothing In My Way: This is the Keane I thought I knew. Stellar and powerful. 5* Leaving So Soon?: I continue to be awestruck. 5* A Bad Dream: A soothing song. Lets me drift off. 5* Hamburg Song: A beautiful song, yet a little monotone. 5* Put It Behind You: This could be a B-side for the first album. Cool song. 5* The Iron Sea: Seriously long intro for an incredible track. 5* Crystal Ball: This is true brilliance in music. Makes Keane clearly shine beyond the rest. 5* Try Again: Great song. Just fantastic. 5* Broken Toy: Kinda hard to sit through. Less than the caliber of this album. 3* The Frog Prince: Beautiful track. Beyond comparison. 5* Let It Slide: I'm normally not a bonus track fan, but this one blew me away. 5* This album has me speechless. Keane grabs your soul with Atlantic and takes you on a boat through the emotionally driven adventures of the Iron Sea. You can feel everything on this album, a diverse range of emotional struggles and acceptance. It takes you through eternal love and the loss of those we love. It is truely an amazing experiance that you should definatly pick up and enjoy time after time. There are so many great tracks on this one that should mean something to everyone that listens to them and really pays attention to the power of the music in conjunction with the passion of the lyrics. Keane hits one home with Under the Iron Sea. Definatly a contender for the best album of this year. Buy it.

Love the CD, but hate that iTunes version has more songs...

I just don't get the idiotic music industry. This disc has 11 songs. I look at the iTunes version, it has 13. What a joke. They want you to buy CDs, then punish you for doing so. I love iTunes, don't get me wrong, but when I want to buy an entire disc, I want the physical version with the booklet, etc... I prefer iTunes for singles. Rant aside, this is a fantastic album. Overall, I like it better than Hopes and Fears ... which was more of a singles disc. The Iron Sea is a great overall production.


Compare them to who you want. The only thing left that matters is the music itself, and my goodness, it is a beautiful thing. The soaring vocals, the sparkling piano, and melodies that always hit you where it hurts. This is my first Keane album and I am hooked. Stand out tracks include "Nothing In My Way" and "A Bad Dream," songs destined to be singles.


Formed: 1997 in East Battle, Sussex, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Keane's piano-driven pop/rock is created by vocalist Tom Chaplin, drummer Richard Hughes, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, three childhood friends from the small town of Battle in East Sussex, England. Formed in 1997, the group started out as a college-aged cover band. Guitarist Dominic Scott was also part of this early incarnation, having previously played cover songs with Hughes and Rice-Oxley in a band named the Lotus Eaters. Keane toured the East Sussex circuit for several years while internalizing...
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Under the Iron Sea, Keane
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Customer Ratings