Remember: everything’s relative. You can score 39 goals a season in some old fourth division team’s B squad, but flop terribly once some plucky Championship manager takes a chance on your shooting boots. Likewise, you can be the dreariest, most mind-numbingly coffee-table dinner-party bland band on the planet one minute, and then you can leave your most hardened haters singing your relative praises.
Keane’s curtain-raiser for their forthcoming follow-up to the mega-selling Hopes And Fears, Under The Iron Sea, isn’t just like prime U2: it utterly, comprehensibly outshines prime U2, and makes a complete mockery of what Bono and co have become today in just three minutes. A grand but unfussy pop-rock song, ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ glides on jetstream drums and confident vocals that aren’t anything like the wimpy efforts of old. It’s immediately likeable, so much so that the average virgin listener will remain tuned to whatever commercial radio station is pumping this out, desperate to hear whom it’s by. When the name Keane is mentioned, expect jaws to drop. Relatively.
Of course, the album will probably be a whitewash of insipid indie shite, but right now Keane are riding the crest of an entirely unexpected wave, one that’ll finally crash and leave both cynical critics and five-records-a-year consumers equally impressed. Relatively speaking, of course: everyone’s strike rate falters when it matters the most.
7Mike Diver's Score