Keane – Night Train EP Review

Keane – Night Train EP Review
House Lights
– House Lights is a short intro track, which features alot of influences from Black Burning Heart, in fact if you played this before Black Burning Heart, it would probably sound like the same song, not too keen on this as I don’t think it should be counted as 1 of the 8 tracks on the “8 Track EP”, alright but pointless.
Back In Time
– If Keane were to do a James Bond theme tune it would probably sound like this, epic music intro and ending with powerful vocals from lead singer Tom Chaplin. However if this was a lyric competition the song would get probably 1 out of 5, the chorus just contains the repeated lyrics “She goes back in time”, but seen as the song results in such epicness, the lyrics don’t matter, this song is obviously more of a crowd rocker song than a lyrical song, similar to the rocky feel of ‘Playing Along’. The song also features vocals from all members of the bank in the sort of middle 8 of the song, which follows in to an epic filled drive to the last chorus, with Tim’s vocals echoing the chorus after Tom which gives an amazing effect to the song which makes us so excited to see them play live.
Stop For a Minute (featuring K’naan)
– Stop For a Minute is the single for the album Night Train, and based on the track list size probably the only single from the album. Stop For a Minute features a lot of input from rapper K’naan (website link) who has his own verse, a rap sequence and joins Tom in the chorus’ after the first. The result actually is not that bad, the only problem with this single is the failure of promotion, everyone who I’ve shown this song to say they love it but haven’t heard of it, a real fail in sales from Island Records there. Unlike the radio edit, this features a more polished version of the rap sequence with two extra lines in the rap which kinda make it make sense more. The song itself is a great sing-a-long single from Keane and K’naan input definitely makes for a great track. We particularly love the final lyrics from K’naan, “the stage in the scene, where its just me and Keane”, classic!

Clear Skies
– Clear Skies is polite quiet little jingle from Keane, a first surprise is the claps, which personally I would prefer without, but I suppose live it gives the audience something to do. The song is a beautiful song with a calming acoutic guitar driven melody, yeah I know weren’t Keane the piano band a minute ago? The song also has a lovely fitting xylophone backing, which will be interesting to see who plays that live. The song, whilst a great song, does feel to be building up to something that never arrives, and the ending, sort of loud rocking sound after the mid part of the song doesn’t work for us. Apart from that this is sure to be a fan favourite from the EP.

Ishin Denshin (You’ve Got To Help Yourself) (featuring Tigarah)
– “See how the world goes round, you’ve got to help yourself, see how the world goes round, and you help someone else”. Under the knowledge that this song was going to be driven by japanese lyrics, which are sung by Tigarah, we didn’t have much hopes for this song, and, whilst it has quite a funky beat and starts with quite a funky drum beat, that’s about it for this song. If you’re japanese you can probably appreciate this song more than us, but for me its nothing more than a big disappointment and a song that, after time, you skip rather than listen to.

Your Love
– Where did this come from, a beautiful love song and sung by Tim, with no input from Tom what-so-ever! Like with Ishin Denshin, on paper this shouldn’t work, but this works brilliantly and the result is the best song on the EP and based on Perfect Symmetry, the best Keane song in a long time. The song has a calming dance beat to it and the lyrics are just beautiful, we can imagine Tim singing this to his wife after an argument, oh and the movie continues! We can’t imagine any Keane fan who doesn’t like this song, its brilliant, keep up the good work Tim, and to be perfectly honest I don’t think Tom could have sung it better.

Looking Back (featuring K’naan)
– Looking Back is the last of the two songs that feature rapper K’naan (website link), but to be honest we’re rather disappointed with K’naans input especially “how could you separate milk from lime …”, WAAT! Anyway, oddly the random outbursts that K’naan brings to this track just work together, and to be frank the song wouldn’t be itself without it. The song itself is, in our opinion better than Stop For a Minute, but we can completely understand why they chose that as the single. Like Stop For a Minute, K’naan does have his own verse towards the last chorus. But all-in-all a great song.

My Shadow
– My Shadow was on my Perfect Symmetry, what’s it doing here? Anyway, we will continue our review anyway. Like I thought before, My Shadow is a great song for playing live, which Keane have actually proved by playing the song live in multiple venues in late 2009. The song itself was only available legally! through the iTunes pre-order of Perfect Symmetry, so many don’t have it yet. With iTunes Pre-order you get a remix with Night Train which we’re not gonna review. My Shadow is a great song to rock out to and is a rarety for Keane to have a song that has a hint of piano in it, so it maybe a good thing for people who haven’t heard My Shadow to include it.


Overview

– The Night Train is a nice collection of songs to fit Keane’s classic eco-system of 2 years per record (Hopes and Fears ’04, Under The Iron Sea ’06, Perfect Symmetry ’08, and now Night Train ’10) Keane, or should I say Tim, has promised a full blown album is in the making.
The album is definitely not an album, the songs are kind of mixed up, unfortunately let down by quite a few down parts of the record, notably House Lights and Ishin Denshin, but thats mainly because I hate songs I can’t sing to. Overall the EP will definitely be a nice fix to Keane fans, however people waiting for the “old Keane” to return will be disappointed as its all new experimental stuff.

Night Train is released 10th May (UK) and 11th May (US and Worldwide)

Review by Ben Hanson

Published by Ben

My name is Ben and I'm an extreem randomist and I think because of this all my friends are too. In spare time I make videos with friends on YT and more for RKUK Online. It's all epic!

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