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Keane - Hopes And Fears - Interscope Records

The fact that Keane stand on their own, with songs so gorgeously filled with shimmering pop radiance is the reason, why we’ve chosen the band as one of our Artists To Watch for 2004.

Of Keane’s debut album Hopes And Fears, this quote from a recent edition of Rolling Stone says it perfectly: "Keane reconfigures the high-romantic aesthetic introduced by Radiohead and mainstreamed by Coldplay as the launch pad for a serious hookfest." And a hookfest it is. From start to finish, Hopes And Fears is stellar Brit-pop songwriting anchored by confident performing and Tom Chaplin’s angelic, exuberant and soaring vocals.

What’s important to note however is there is no guitar on the album; this is piano-driven rock at its best. Chaplin along with Tim Rice-Oxley (piano/keyboards/bass) and drummer Richard Hughes are all childhood friends from Sussex, England. They started in 1997 as many bands do; as a cover band playing their favorite Beatles and Oasis songs. Soon, they began writing and performing their own original tunes, and with only two singles to their name, Hopes And Fears is their full-length debut.

Songs like “This Is The Last Time,” “Everybody’s Changing,” “Can’t Stop Now,” and “Somewhere Only Know” are dramatic and beautiful and you can hear their driving ambition on ever song on the album. Words like “sweeping” and “majestic” are often overused in describing music. For Keane, who stand to match Coldplay song for song for their own distinctive qualities, these words are an appropriate description of a very hot band to watch.

Release Date: 5/25/2004

Written by Bruce Warren

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