Monday, June 7, 2010

Night Train

This morning my copy of Keane's new EP "Night Train" came in the mail. I was super excited, even though I'd already heard three of the eight tracks. I feel like I need to talk about it, because it wasn't entirely what I was expecting.

1. "House Lights"
Kinda different, but the last bit sampled a bit of "Playing Along" from the Perfect Symmetry album, the album Night Train is an EP for. I liked it, but that was really the only thing on the album connecting it to Perfect Symmetry in any way, which was a bit of a disappointment. It doesn't feel like an EP.

2. "Back in Time"
A little like Keane's style, but still a little different (it definitely has the electronic presence, but there's more guitar and...cow bell?) I like it quite a bit, but the effects added to the vocals kind of make it sound like Tom is singing in the bathroom.

3. "Stop for a Minute"
Really different. Keane collaborated with Somalian/Canadian rapper K'Naan, and it's a nice, catchy tune, but definitely diverges from the "normal" Keane style. I like it though, except when K'Naan rhymes "beautiful" with "cuticles." Also, in the music video, Tom Chaplin has a creepy peach-fuzz mustache that makes me want to go back in time, hunt him down, and force him to shave it.

4. "Clear Skies"
Once again, a little different (acoustic guitar, clapping, etc) but overall it sounds pretty good, and I like the lyrics.

5. "Ishin Denshin (You've Got to Help Yourself)"
Oh gag me. I'm sorry Keane, but you totally lost me here. I don't know if I would venture to say that this song is awful, but it's really...not good. It's repetitive and therefore boring, and the weird sampling of the apparently very popular Japanese song makes me feel like they just wanted it in there because it was popular. It makes me feel like they're letting their fame (yes, they really are famous, even though no one in the US has heard of them) go to their head or something. Sad day.

6. "Your Love"
At first I wondered if Tom Chaplin had had a sore throat when they recorded the song, but then I realized it was Tim Rice-Oxley (the pianist/principal songwriter/organizer of the band) singing! It's very cool to hear Tim singing. He's not as good as Tom, but he thinks he sounds bad when he sings, so the fact that he tried makes me happy. And he really isn't a bad singer at all, just different. The song has an 80s-ish feel to it, and since I love 80s music...

7. "Looking Back"
Also features K'Naan. This song is silly. They sample the Rocky theme, and K'Naan even mentions Rocky at some point in his rapping. I don't like it. It's not as clever as "Stop for a Minute," so it bothers me that Keane has rap in this song. Hm.

8. "My Shadow"
Here it is, the typical Keane style! And I love it. I love that they're branching out and trying new things, but this song reminds me of why I liked Keane in the first place. It has this really great part towards the end that really communicates emotion...haha wow listen to me. Whatever. This one I will post, since I love it so much (the video is the official music video, but was made by a fan. They had a contest and this one won):

Overall, I'd say it was worth the $2 I spent on it (thank you, Amazon). I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it though.
If you've never heard or heard of Keane, give them a try.


Jared and Megan said...

Good review, sounds interesting! I think I'm going to listen to what I can online.

Shannon said...

You can borrow it if you want, you know

Jared and Megan said...

oo sounds good.

Jared and Megan said...

Ok I just watched the video for my shadow and I really liked it. The dancing was cool. Just wanted to let you know I actually watched it.