Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Give me some Keane -- I need more mellow

I was in the mood for some KEANE today, after hearing "EVERYBODY'S CHANGING" on the radio and suffering through a day in which I toiled on four stories at the newspaper.
I dialed up the English band's debut, "HOPES AND FEARS" on the iPod and listened while driving around on a beautiful day.

When I first heard Keane, I dismissed them as Travis copyists.

Upon further listening, I now understand that Keane were similar but much different, thanks to TIM RICE-OXLEY.

The pianist takes center stage for the band -- serving a role even more important that vocalist TOM CHAPLIN.

The piano-centric approach sets Keane apart in the modern-day, soft-rock sweepstakes.

It's interesting to me that while soft-rock reigned on the American charts in the 1970s and early 1980s, it barely registers now -- supplanted by smooth R&B when people seek out the mellower musical forms.