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Perfect Symmetry (Deluxe Version)

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Editors’ Notes

All hail the 1980s? Well, the UK’s Keane have plugged in their retro synthesizers and written a handful of tunes (“Spiralling,” “The Lovers Are Losing,” “You Haven’t Told Me Anything”) that recall the pure synth-pop bliss of that era with lots of exaggerated productions. Keane keep a tighter grip on the production end, never allowing a reverb to swallow them. Their third album, 2008’s Perfect Symmetry, was recorded in Paris, London, and Berlin, with a variety of producers stopping by for input (Jon Brion, Stuart Price) on this self-produced excursion into a new Keane. This “new” Keane revel in the upbeat propulsion of “Better Than This” that allows singer Tom Chaplin to shriek in mock falsetto and generally play up the festive atmosphere where once brooding might have taken hold. And this all-keyboard band even adds some guitars in spots; they temper the mood a tad. The title track still swoons with a gravitas and a sense of personal mission: “I shake through the wreckage for signs of life.” The closing ballad, “Love is the End,” puts a gripping final nail into love’s endless cycle of hope and defeat.

Customer Reviews

Great music, but is it for fans of Keane?

Let's be honest, the sound in this album is NOT the Keane that we all know and love. It's a new Keane. If you're one of those people that has a hard time listening to different sounds from the same band then stick to Beck or whatever... I feel like Keane has matured with this album. Unlike past albums, there aren't as many tracks on this album that you could easily listen to, nor are they the songs that you will hear on your local radio stations anytime soon. But they all sound so good in their own, new-Keane way. I love this album. I'm not a firm believer that bands have to stick by their sound. Personally, I love it when a band changes along with their music. But I will give this album 4 stars out of 5 because I know Keane will dissappoint a lot of their original fan base with this album. For that, and for making us wait this long for something that isn't what we expected I take off one star. You conservative Keane'rs will be a little reluctant at first, but trust me... give it a thorough listen, and somewhere you'll find Keane in there somewhere.


I don't think anyone saw this coming...I honestly thought they were a band that sticks to their sound for life...but then came 'Spiralling' and it was just awesome and different and well...not Keane. There's a lot to like on this CD. That's not to say that there aren't low points...because there is some filler..but there are some solid, solid cuts on this album. Two of my favs include the really dark 'You Haven't Told Me Anything' (the singer seems to be in a really pessimistic mood for most of the album), and the quasi-funk disjointed 'Better Than This' . Buy it! It's better than a lot of new stuff right now.

Huge step down

For the record, Keane is one of my favorite bands. I've seen them live and they were incredible. I was excited about this album, but I was very surprised because it was sooo bad. The distorted synths are an awful choice, the melodies are not as catchy as before and there are not enough ballads, which is not a good choice because ballads arise Tim's wonderful voice. I cried for days, I tell ya. Compared to the simple but beautiful "Hopes & Fears" and the electronic-spacey "Under the iron sea", "Spiralling" is their most awful album.


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...
Full bio
Perfect Symmetry (Deluxe Version), Keane
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