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Under The Iron Sea

217 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 20, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Their critically acclaimed debut LP 'Hopes and Fears' took the band from childhood friends to one of the most iconic and reputable acts from the UK. In keeping with the deft beauty of their trademark melodies, Keane have written a second album that mines from the depths a mesmerizing and grittier dynamic. Keane have returned with an album that boasts a bolder, smoldering and more intense sound but which retains the classic song-writing of "Hopes and Fears."

If U2 hadn't already released a pair of career retrospective discs, this British trio's second album would neatly do the trick in one. Not much of a surprise since Keane spent a good deal of time supporting Bono and company following the release their breakthrough debut, Hopes and Fears. From the melancholic "Crystal Ball" to the sinisterly beautiful "Is It Any Wonder?" (a blatant homage to "Zoo Station"), Keane have perfected their forebear's dark stadium-rock formula on their second album, all the more miraculous considering it was once again done without guitars. If Under the Iron Sea sounds considerably edgier than its predecessor, that's because it was recorded while the band was on the verge of splitting. But the friction has also given Keane a renewed sense of purpose, breaking the mid-tempo monotony with vibrant material such as "Nothing in My Way" and "Try Again": soaring songs that make the band sound unsinkable. --Aidin Vaziri

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Atlantic
  2. Is It Any Wonder?
  3. Nothing In My Way
  4. Leaving So Soon?
  5. A Bad Dream
  6. Hamburg Song
  7. Put It Behind You
  8. Crystal Ball
  9. Try Again
  10. Broken Toy
  11. The Frog Prince

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B000FBHT1C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,104 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Keane’s first album “Hopes and Fears” went eight times platinum in the UK and scored gold in the USA, thanks to huge hit ballads like “Everybody’s Changing”, “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Bend and Break”. This follow up album changes the formula completely, and although a great effort musically and lyrically, it doesn’t have a similar number of radio-friendly pop songs like its predecessor. If this will affect sales will soon be known, but fans of the group will continue to be impressed by their sheer musical genius, the songs this time being heavily infused with electronica for a darker sound than ever before. Sounding more like Enigma in places, with large spoonfuls of U2 and Queen thrown in for good measure, this album isn’t as instantly likeable like the first, but grows on you after a few repeats.

First single and lead off track “Atlantic” has an incredible drum effect running through it and some terrific lyrics – “And if I need anything at all / I need a place that's hidden in the deep / Where lonely angels sing you to your sleep / Though all the world is broken”

Second single and track “Is It Any Wonder” is the song most likely to succeed on radio, especially with its political theme, commenting on the contributions of the British to the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pet Shop Boys also have a similar (but more irreverently outspoken) track on their album “Fundamental”, and The Dixie Chicks take on the matter is also well known.

The best track on the album in my opinion is “Nothing In My Way”, a ballad inspired by Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and composed by Tim Rice-Oxley, the band’s piano man.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard K. on July 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is easily my favorite disc of the year, possibly the decade! I am an "old school" listener who prefers everything from Britain that has been recorded and exported in the past 40 years. Keane released this brilliant album that very well may take its place at the top of the pile of my stack. I simply have not stopped playing it!

English bands seemed to have lost track of making good music. Not so, with Keane. "Iron Sea" surpised me on many levels. First of all, follow up albums usually fall short of the debuts. This moves far ahead of the first. "Iron Sea" is both solid and deep. (No pun intended!) Fantasy images are used liberally, Crystal Ball is my favorite. Frog princes and ogres make appearances.

Every track is memorable. Grammys take note, here is your album of the year. Tom Chaplins vocals soar! It is hard to believe that musically this is a trio. No Guitars. It is skilled beyond my ears to hear this. This album great on many levels! The last track sums it up as fairy tales do come true. This is music for the Harry Potter generation and beyond!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Foley on May 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am not a fan of Keane. In fact, I hated their first album and did not notice when the second album released. However, after hearing "Is It Any Wonder?" on the radio (about 200 times) I thought I would check it out. The sound seemed to have more edge; it captured more of a rock feel, and I liked that. Not to mention, I don't know who can't relate to the lyrics of "Is It Any Wonder?" these days.

I ordered the album and when it came I popped it into my stereo and sat down. I listened to the whole CD. Then I listened to it again. I was dazzled by the intersecting rhythm lines, key changes, the poor lyric scansion that seems to rhyme even though it shouldn't, and the tenor of Tom Chaplain's voice. This album has depth. It encompasses a sound that has been established by the Beatles and has evolved up through bands like Cold Play and Radio Head; Yet it has a little irreverence, giving it a feeling of angst that makes it more interesting to listen to. It's industrial enough to sit in the "Rock" section of your local record store, yet it's still technically a "Pop" album.

I highly recommend this album. It truly is a fresh sound and feel. It will appeal to rock folks, as well as pop people. If I were on the panel for album of the year I certainly would've voted for this one!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Liam F. on June 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Keane's HOPES AND FEARS won the Best British Album at the Brits, and got them attention even in the US when they got nominated for Grammy's Best New Artist (not an easy feat for a British band). It isn't easy at all to follow up such massive success. And here coems Keane's sophomore effort - UNDER THE IRON SEA. But does it match up to HOPES AND FEARS? If you went head over heels for HOPES AND FEARS, then chances are you had been waiting impatiently for the release of this one and would have the CD spinning right now. What if you do not own HOPES AND FEARS, or did not like it (which I find a little shocking)?

UTIS is essentially a rock record, leaning towards alternative. The CD opens with "Atlantic", which features a killer beat (albeit sinister sounding) that sets the tone for the rest of the CD. About 2 minutes and a bit more into this song, the melody completely takes on a new route, switching from melancholic and dangerous to almost angelic and peaceful. This, in my opinion, is sheer brilliance. We could go deeper by trying to analyze what message Keane is giving (a light among darkness?) but that's better left aside for now.

First single "Is It Any Wonder?" comes next. Once again, great beats - and no - THAT is NOT guitar; it is 'distorted piano' - a completely new sound that Keane has invented. This song is ferocoius, it rages forward like a full-speed train - and that's good. We have not heard anything like this from Keane before, and I'm glad they are not sticking to ONE formula (the one that worked in HOPES AND FEARS).

One of my favourite songs on the CD, "Nothing In My Way" is very poetic, and the "addictivity level" is at its peak when the song breaks into the chorus. You'll find yourself chanting along to it in no time at all.
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will NOT be a sophomore slump...
CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS! I would pre-order here on Amazon but I am going to buy it under much cooler circumstances: I am taking a road trip to California to go to Disneyland, etc. and I am also going to the concert on the 21st of June. So since the concert is the day after the album comes out, I am... Read More
May 30, 2006 by HUGE KEANE Fan |  See all 5 posts
Track list?
i got the album from iTunes and it includes all 13 tracks including "The Iron Sea" plus music video and digital booklet.
Jun 20, 2006 by Ruslan |  See all 6 posts
Hopefully, will not be a sophomore slump...
They are playing the songs on BBC1 and they sound great!!!! Can't wait to buy it!
Jun 7, 2006 by tpaw |  See all 4 posts
Stop downloading!
Just curious...why are you telling people in this discussion to stop downloading? Based on the comments I see noone has admitted downloading anything.
Jun 14, 2006 by RingoMc |  See all 14 posts
Sophmore Slump It is
Having heard the whole album, I am happy to report that you are in fact an idiot. That is all...
Jun 12, 2006 by Cardiac |  See all 7 posts
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