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Keane - Cause and Effect (Album Review)

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 Written by Graeme Marsh

While Keane frontman Tom Chaplin’s problems with drug addiction have been well publicised, it’s his bandmate Tim Rice-Oxley’s issues that form the backbone of ‘Cause and Effect’, the group’s comeback album seven years after the release of ‘Strangeland’.

Featuring songs that began life as Rice-Oxley solo compositions, ‘Cause and Effect’ ended up under the Keane banner after the tracks were played to Chaplin, who soon felt a desire to be their voice. Throughout, it’s not an easy listen, and things get as personal as they’ve ever been.

Rice-Oxley was virtually nomadic for a traumatic six year period that saw his marriage fall apart, as well as facing a drink-driving charge. That shameful prison cell experience is captured here on the hauntingly sparse Strange Room.

Lead single The Way I Feel is similarly dark, with references to standing on the edge, being tangled up inside, and hearing voices. But, conversely, it’s musically upbeat.

The second single, Love Too Much, taps into the main theme here: Rice-Oxley’s marriage. Its painful lyrics tell of mistakes being made and his desire to give it all he had, and he almost finds solace in the fact that “nothing can take that away from me.”

We’ve all considered the benefits of turning up the radio so that nosey neighbours can’t eavesdrop on what’s going on, and the slower, moodier Put The Radio On “so that no one can hear” eventually soars in a typically anthemic manner. The chorus of Phases also flexes powerful muscles, while a string melody achingly similar to the one that closes Ride’s Vapour Trail holds together the sorrowful Thread, where there are desperate pleas of “forgive me” and “don’t hate me”.

Keane’s own classic Bedshaped is recalled during closer I Need Your Love, but it pales in comparison. The opener, You’re Not Here, fares better, opening like a flower seeing the first signs of spring before exploding emotionally. The defiant I’m Not Leaving, though, shows off Chaplin’s falsetto perfectly for a supercharged number boasting moments that make the hairs on the back of the neck stand up.

Chaplin has stated that he had doubts about the band ever reforming, and with his and Rice-Oxley’s various troubles seemingly insurmountable at times it’s no wonder. Thankfully they’ve worked through things, but it’s an unfortunate truth that this album wouldn’t exist without Rice-Oxley’s unenviable experiences. ‘Cause and Effect’ may be an uncomfortable listen but it’s unerringly consistent. Despite lacking standout moments, it does prove that as a band Keane still have something to offer

Keane Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue September 24 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall
Wed September 25 2019 - LEICESTER De Montfort Hall
Thu September 26 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sat September 28 2019 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Sun September 29 2019 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Tue October 01 2019 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall, Newcastle
Wed October 02 2019 - EDINBURGH Usher Hall
Fri October 04 2019 - NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Hall Notts
Sat October 05 2019 - BRIGHTON Centre
Mon October 07 2019 - BELFAST Waterfront Hall Auditorium
Tue October 08 2019 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre

Click here to compare & buy Keane Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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