As country-meets-folk-meets-gospel-meets-trance-inducing-ambient-rock, the album stands apart from either musician's individual catalogue. This isn't the Talking Heads' Basement Tapes or Roxy Music's lost masterpiece. Instead, each artist's contribution stands out and even apart, yet somehow melding perfectly.
It's easy to imagine this album staying in heavy rotation for the rest of the year, and your profit from listening to it will grow with time.
-- CAREY MURPHY
DOWNLOAD: "Everything That Happens"
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & K & lt;/span & eane and Coldplay have been intertwined ever since the mid-1990s, when Chris Martin tried to steal Keane's piano player, Tim Rice-Oxley (who chose to stay put). A decade later, Keane and Coldplay are two of England's most popular bands. And they've both put out semi-experimental albums this year. Coldplay's was a tepid affair. Keane's is more interesting, though still not a winner.
Long known as the band without guitars, the piano-driven Keane has finally allowed some six-strings to appear on this record. What's most striking is the '80s-like Brit poppiness, a total counterpoint to Coldplay's mostly dirge-like Viva La Vida. I thought the '70s were the decade to emulate at the moment, but Keane has moved right past that. Most of it reminds me of why all that synth-driven '80s stuff was so bad. But there are a few great tracks, especially when Tom Chaplin's almost Freddie Mercury-like vocals are front and center, like on "You Don't See Me" and "The Lovers Are Losing."
-- TED S. MCGREGOR JR.
DOWNLOAD: "Perfect Symmetry"