Hopes & Fears
Keane is the musical equivalent of a STD. Okay, so I may have inadvertently received this album, like that bout with syphilis, but you try to do everything to get rid of any symptom of having it. After one listen to Hopes & Fears, I am still feeling the after effects of this annoyingly catchy trio.
Keane specializes in piano-driven jangle pop that becomes ingrained in your head, whether you like it or not. Their songs are so incredibly catchy, even if the lyrics are asinine (“So why don’t we go somewhere only we know” or “Everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same”). Their piano/drums/voice combination becomes old roughly ten seconds into the first track, and it’s all downhill from there until the last song, “Bedshaped.” There Keane actually adds a darker side to an album that otherwise has a “we represent the lollipop guild” feel to it.
I have listened to Hopes & Fears in its entirety three times, and now I am ready to hurl it. I can only take so much sweet, cuddly, happy-go-lucky, charming, British girly-pop. Each song has the same formula: piano and/or drum intro, soft verse, catchy mid-tempo chorus, slightly-less-soft verse, same chorus, piano/drum bridge (optional), full-blown chorus to pound it into the listener’s mind. This formula is why the album is a one-time listen. With every song coming back like a bad case of herpes, Hopes & Fears is an album that will quickly fill used CD bins everywhere.