Album Review
Perfect Symmetry - Keane

Britain's smallest big band is back for Perfect Symmetry. Keane moves from the epic Disney-esque sounds of their debut to a extremely danceable rock record that both ends the constant comparisons with Coldplay and hearkens to early years Killers and David Bowie.

"Spiralling", which kicks off the set, is still one of the best free downloads that 2008 has offered. The album mix of the song adds a few seconds of African percussion and a longer bridge but provides the same empowering lyrics asking you if you want to be a winner, an icon, famous, or even the president. And that's to say nothing of the infectious synth. The Girls Aloud should be green with envy. Second single, "The Lovers Are Losing" is this albums "All These Things I've Done" but falls short of providing a line as quotable as "I got soul but I'm not a soldier'.

The album's quirkiest moment is the hand-clapping "Better Than This", with it's roll-down-the-windows-as-you-drive-down-the-freeway chorus. Chaplin pulls off a falsetto perfectly. The title track delves back into Disneyland and you can practically see that monkey raise Simba in the air as Chaplin yearns, "This life is lived in perfect symmetry/What I do, that will be done to me". Think of it as a "Circle of Life" for the information age ("scrolling through the paragraphs, clicking through the photographs"). "Again And Again" follows and returns to 80's synth rock and is one of producer Stuart Price's (Madonna's Confessions On A Dancefloor, The Killer's Day & Age) contributions.

Clocking in at a tidy fifty minutes, Perfect Symmetry is the perfect template for what a irresistible electro-pop inspired rock album should sound like. Instead of yawning at another Keane release, Symmetry has caused critics and casual listeners to take note. Even the mushy ballads aren't that bad, though they do seem too tightly packed onto the end of the record, it would have worked better sprinkled throughout. Well done Keane.

Must download:
"Better Than This"
"Again And Again"


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Spiraling

vicm said...

Keane will have a hard time overcoming the perception everyone has of them due to "Somewhere Only We Know" (in the US at least). That's the only song of theirs the average American knows. If Perfect Symmetry made a bigger impact here they could pick up some new fans.

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