Reviewing Keane is always a tricky business. Any sort of faint praise and we get our hands cut off for being traitors to the punk rock cause, but if we give them a proper bashing we’re boorish and predictable. There’s no denying that they’ve had more hits than most, but that’s like judging how many Nobel Prizes you’ve won in comparison to Barry Chuckle: it’s meaningless.
So what have they pulled out of the bag this time? Shite all. This is the same as every other Keane album, so don’t be fooled into thinking they’re reformed characters because of that confusingly funky ’80s-style single. It’s the first track and it’s all downhill after that (insert ‘Spiralling’ pun here). OK, so it worked for Mystery Jets, and now people don’t think they live in a commune and eat out of bins anymore, but somehow Keane just make it all sound sinister. There’s a song called ‘Black Burning Heart’, for God’s sake. And another one called ‘Love Is The End’. Musically, they’ve ripped off swathes of things contemporary and popular to make them ‘hip’, but it just feels like some dodgy old guy at a bus stop telling you he digs Klaxons. “I absolutely do not care what is considered to be fashionable or cool or tasteful – it’s much more about following our own instincts,” bleats Tim Rice-Waterhouse-Oxley or whatever the fuck he’s called. That’s fine, granddad. We’re not listening.