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Perfect Symmetry

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iTunes Review

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

Not so good

This is just so different from their previous albums and i'm not really feeing it. Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea were two GREAT albums and it really worked for them. I think they're better than Coldplay in that sense. I'm just curious as to why they would change directions when they had something working SO WELL for them.

A New Keane-A Brighter Keane.

Keane's last album, Under The Iron Sea, was an exercise in all things slightly darker and more melancholic, and it makes sense: the band nearly broke up after their first tour and album Hopes and Fears, because they could hardly stand each other. Here, we have the antithesis of that album: a bright, cheery, poppy, electrifying tour of all sorts. There is certainly a more synth sound that sounds foreign when compared to Hopes and Fears, but the band has no doubt put out some excellent material here.

Worth the Wait!!

Keane just can't make a bad record. They just can't. Once again they have delivered an album that can be listened to from start to finish, over and over again. If you are a true fan of Keane, or just a fan of good music in general, don't listen to the few reviews on here that negatively compare "Perfect Symmetry" to "Hopes and Fears" or "Under the Iron Sea". Those records had their own distinct sounds and feelings, so it should come as no surprise that the new album is a somewhat different theme as well. There are songs on the record like "The Lovers Are Losing", "Again and Again", and "Love Is the End" which are more reminiscent of songs found on "Hopes and Fears". However, with tracks like "Spiralling", "Better Than This", and "Playing Along", Keane proves that their brilliance can also be heard in a newer "retro" style with synthesizers and different drum beats. Tim has once again written a collection of songs that are both melodically pleasing and lyrically inspiring. The whole album has a message of hope that builds from start to finish. "The Lovers Are Losing" talks about how in the current state of the world, the people on the side of goodness and love seem to be losing out to the negative and hateful ones. "Playing Along" then talks about how despite all the conflict going on around the world, we all manage to somehow get by from day to day by playing along, or distracting ourselves in any way we can. The album ends with "Love Is the End", which basically says that in the end, love and goodness will prevail. And only Tom's voice could do the songs justice the way he does. If you're expecting old-school Keane, you might be somewhat disappointed on the first listen-through. However, after about the second or third time you've heard the songs, you'll be hooked too. Oh, and if you're a fan of Keane's slower, underplayed songs like "Bedshaped" and "Hamburg Song", you will absolutely love "You Don't See Me". It's in my opinion one of the best songs Keane's ever written. Album Highlights- "Spiralling", "The Lovers Are Losing", "Perfect Symmetry", "You Don't See Me", "Again and Again", "Love Is the End"


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, Keane
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