Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Keane – The Way I Feel

The Mild Wounders…


Ian Mathers: Is Keane actually less objectionable shopping mall music than, I don’t know, Imagine Dragons et al, or am I just the right age to feel that way? Can’t imagine either getting mad at it or listening to it voluntarily in any case.

Alfred Soto: Keane going full-on Killers happened a decade too late.

Iain Mew: Everybody changes, and if that change takes us somewhere The Killers also know, there’s plenty of room for synth-rock this shimmering and frantic.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s a symptom of British culture — the amount of jokes that have been made about the crises and addictions of Tom Chaplin. Posh boy singing nice songs in a band without a guitar? He was probably just keen on Lemsip or something, he couldn’t possibly have Exciting Problems. People are still stupid about such things. And that’s why “The Way I Feel” cuts so deep. Always such a nice boy, growing up to sing nice songs — and yet. Inside, volcanoes. There’s a particular thing — that of being the child who everyone knows will be just fine — which for him extended into a public adulthood in which the tenor of his songs was taken to be the tenor of his self. The pressure to be someone with no problems, combined with ridicule based on the assumption he couldn’t have any. It’s an unfortunate paradox; as is the fact that this is actually about his bandmate Tim Rice-Oxley. He can see the parallels though, and no doubt so could many others.

Jonathan Bradley: Can the English do The Killers? The Killers proved, definitively, that they could, when they expropriated “Romeo and Juliet” from Mark Knopfler, but when I hear Tom Chaplin sing of a “broken link, a missing part, a punctured wheel,” I contrast it with Brandon Flowers turning the same doggerel into bullshit national myth-making about “the teenage queen/the loaded gun/the drop-dead dream/the chosen rhyme.” I don’t know if there is an English equivalent of that wide-screen rock and roll patrioism that manages to be grandiose but still earnest. And yet, still: Keane is a band as exciting as poured concrete that, on “The Way I Feel,” has managed to make themselves big and passionate, and I welcome such surprises.

Joshua Copperman: Sonically, this is too slick to make any connection, which wasn’t always the case – even at their most polished, they still managed to wring some emotion and occasionally an outright great song. But despite an assist from David Kosten, who helped Everything Everything gloss up their eccentric ideas, this just sounds even more Killers-y than usual, without the Springsteen bombast. The issue is that there’s no substitute for that campiness, even as the contrast between the frantic video and the ultra-smooth song is most certainly camp. While the lyrics felt condescending at first if directed at another person, if introspective they actually redeem the song from being totally anonymous, and the stacked harmonies of that chorus also go a long way. Still, it’s much harder to eccentricize a slick song than focus a band down to their best ideas.

Reader average: [3.5] (2 votes)

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