Search - Keane :: Under the Iron Sea

Under the Iron Sea
Under the Iron Sea
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

"Under The Iron Sea" was recorded at The Magic Shop in Soho, New York, and back at Helioscentric Studios, near Battle. In making this record we tried to confront all our worst fears, to ruthlessly scrutinise ourselves, ou...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Keane
Title: Under the Iron Sea
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 6
Label: Interscope Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 6/20/2006
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: British Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 602498568279, 0600753033012, 0602498413517, 0602517746596, 602498466186, 602517133372


Album Description
"Under The Iron Sea" was recorded at The Magic Shop in Soho, New York, and back at Helioscentric Studios, near Battle. In making this record we tried to confront all our worst fears, to ruthlessly scrutinise ourselves, our relationship with each other, with other people, and with the world at large, and to make a journey into the darkest places we could find. It made for an incredibly intense atmosphere during the writing and recording of the album, and the resultant songs and sounds very much reflect that. In the songs we created a kind of sinister fairytale-world-gone-wrong, a feeling of confusion and numbness represented by a dark place under an impenetrable iron sea. To express all this we created entirely new sounds by putting an old electric piano and various analogue synths through many different combinations of vintage guitar effects pedals, creating soundscapes that range from the percussive to vast oppressive walls of distortion. We were writing, singing and performing with a drive, intensity and fury that is almost unrecognisable from our previous music. It was important that this album had a strong visual presence too, and the start of that was the collaboration with Irvine Welsh on ¡®Atlantic¡¯ offered somebody who both inspired us, and found his own inspiration in our music. His resulting film echoes the importance of that visual identity we strove for. We wrote Under The Iron Sea because we needed a record that was going to make us feel alive again.

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Member CD Reviews

Sarahbeth C. (buttercrumpets) from APOLLO, PA
Reviewed on 12/5/2012...
Love it!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
L. Maggy S. (Maggy) from LYON MOUNTAIN, NY
Reviewed on 9/29/2010...
It's a keeper!
Karlen C. (meg) from SALINA, KS
Reviewed on 8/29/2009...
Under The Iron Sea is deep, edgy, and creative. Keane, who always seems to make good on a fresh sound with each new album, has once again achieved a masterpiece with intense lyrics strung along beautiful melodies.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Keane's fairytale return isn't Grimm
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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. This track sounds most like the Keane of ?Hopes and Fears? vintage, and is the one I?ve been repeat playing. Another wicked ballad is ?Leaving So Soon?? which is followed by ?A Bad Dream? another war themed track, this time based on a poem by W. B. Yeats. ?Hamburg Song? is a rather long acoustic track, and then comes ?Put It Behind You? a straight up rock track just for fun.

The group describes their album as ?a sinister fairytale-world-gone-wrong? and this theme comes through clearly on the creepy instrumental ?Under the Iron Sea? which sounds like a funeral song from a fantasy movie. Not one of my favorite tracks, I?m afraid, but would fit in very nicely in a ?Lord of the Rings? type soundtrack.

Another future single is ?Crystal Ball? the track which gives us the album title and a very catchy chorus, and this takes us to the last three very long tracks ?Try Again?, ?Broken Toy? and ?The Frog Prince? these three accounting for almost 15 minutes of the album. The first two are for relaxing only, but the last track wakes you up gently for the grand finale.

This album may not beat the commercial success of the debut album, but the excellent and innovative music, crisp clear vocals and intelligent lyrics make it a stand-out anyway.

Rated: 4.5 stars

Amanda Richards, June 20, 2006

Keane return with their exceptional new album, Under the Iro
A. G. Corwin | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Simple, energetic, and sonically impressive, Under the Iron Sea is the kind of album that hearkens back to an era where music wasn't about pretentiousness and style or about making money with a relentlessly commercial sound. Keane goes the opposite direction, making the album they wanted to make, full of elegantly simple but incredibly engaging songs and delivering a record better than 95% of the fluff on the market today. Simply stated, this is one for heavy rotation.

Keane's contemporary influences can be clearly heard on this record, with shades of U2, Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers, and Ben Folds Five heard on various tracks. While paying homage to those influences, Keane still manages to create a sound that is all their own. Tom Chaplin's vocals are emotional and ethereal, blending perfectly with Tim Rice-Oxley's elegant piano, and Rich Hughes does a fine job anchoring the tracks with his steady drumming. From the opening track Atlantic's potent piano melodies, which defies the traditional verse-chorus-verse song structure, to the energetic tracks Is It Any Wonder and Nothing In My Way, the record flows with an exciting and uplifting energy that has already made it #1 on the British album charts.

Crystal Ball with its beautiful chorus is probably the best track on the record, while A Bad Dream and Try Again are the kind of hopeful and anthemic songs Coldplay would kill to write themselves and that flow gorgeously. The album as a whole is a sonic gem, with layers of instruments that embellish and accentuate the simplicity of Chaplin's vocals and Rice-Exley's melodies. This record is light years better than anything U2 or Coldplay has done in recent years. Although some feel this album is darker thematically than Hopes and Fears, I find it exactly the opposite. Though containing lyrics of loss, loneliness and longing, these tracks are surrounded by beautiful and uplifting melodies. Under the Iron Sea is a less commercial album than Hopes and Fears; the tracks are more intricate and deeper on this record, and therefore it takes a bit longer to appreciate. After 2 weeks on heavy rotation, the depth of the CD continues to amaze.

Co-produced with Hopes and Fears' Andy Green, Under the Iron Sea demolishes the commonly held belief in the sophomore slump. This is the kind of album most bands wish they could deliver, full of fresh, intriguing, and resonating songs that stand up to multiple playings. On their website, Keane remarks they needed to make a record that was going to make them feel alive again. With Under the Iron Sea, Keane has made a record that makes us feel alive again. Brilliant work, and hands down one of the Top 5 records of the Year. Highly recommended.

A.G. Corwin

St Louis, MO"