British balladeers employ new tricks on their third album, Perfect Symmetry, out this week.
What? “Everybody’s changing /And I don’t feel the same,” sings Keane lead singer Tom Chaplin on the band’s 2003 single “Everybody’s Changing.” Now Chaplin and his crew are changing again. After the pop-infused balladry of 2004’s Hopes and Fears and the bombastic rock of 2006’s Under the Iron Sea, Keane return this week with a more kaleidoscopic sonic vision on their third album, Perfect Symmetry. Featuring production work from musical mad scientist Jon Brion, the new release brims with flailing falsettos, skittering new-wave rhythms, and party-ready melodies juxtaposed against impeccable melodrama.
Who? While attending London’s University College in 1995, principal keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley formed Keane — originally called the Lotus Eaters — along with drummer Richard Hughes and now former guitarist Dominic Scott. In 1997 Rice-Oxley’s childhood friend, Tom Chaplin, joined the group as lead vocalist and for the next several years the band were regulars in London’s pub-rock scene before finally self-releasing their debut album in 2000. After signing to Island in 2003, Keane released Hopes and Fears the following year to critical and commercial success and followed with 2006’s Under the Iron Sea, which saw similar reception. Between the releases of Under the Iron Sea and Perfect Symmetry, Keane curated a benefit concert for the War Child charity organization — Click here to watch performance footage from the show.
Fun Fact: In addition to his keyboard and backing vocal duties with Keane, Tim Rice-Oxley took a co-writing role on Gwen Stefani’s 2006 album, The Sweet Escape.
Now Hear This: Keane – “Spiralling”