I have a confession to make: I like Keane. There, I’ve said it, and yet judging by Neil Robertson’s ‘against’ piece on the band, and by reading some of your comments on the DiS message boards, I feel like I have to apologise.
Keane’s debut album ‘Hopes And Fears’ is one of this year’s best, and I don’t agree with Neil’s assertion that it’s "production-line lite-indie". I think the Sussex trio have written an important-sounding, emotionally literate record, dropping the guitars and instead using powerful percussion and striking piano to underpin Tom Chaplin’s stunning voice, which swoops and soar across the album’s 12 tracks. And I think it sounds fucking great.
‘Hopes And Fears’ is an honest record made by an honest band who wear their heart on their sleeves and who don’t have any claims to being a 'rock' band. Keane are three, well-educated, musically proficient men who just happen to come from a middle class background (which for some is a non-starter straight off - pathetic). Keane have made an uncomplicated and warm album that also happens to be comfortable and radio-friendly, something which must really rile the indie purists/snobs that populate this site.
I’ve also got a problem with Andrew Future’s review of ‘Hopes And Fears’. Andrew reckons Keane fans listen to "lowest common denominator daytime rock" and "shop at JJB Sports". Talk about tarring everyone with the same brush! Using myself as a case for the defence against this condescending clap trap: I’m a single, white male, earning a reasonable wage. I shop where I like and I wear what I want. I have an eclectic musical taste which takes in The Broken Family Band, Hope Of The States and Squarepusher but I also like supposed ‘bedwetters’ Coldplay and Snow Patrol. I also happen to think I have a fairly sunny disposition despite facing the same day-to-day struggles as pretty much everyone else i.e. trying to pay the bills on time, saving up to find somewhere of my own to live, and seeing my favorite football team relegated to Division Three.
So, if that means putting on the Keane album, enjoying it, losing myself in it, and yeah, fuck it, crying to it (see ‘relegated’, ‘Division Three’) than I must be a bad, bad boy because as 'Somewhere Only We Know' says “I’m getting old and I need something to rely on.” I like Keane and, no, I’m no longer going to apologize for it.