Keane recently returned to the UK music scene after a short hiatus and have described their new album Perfect Symmetry as "a technicolour explosion of stellar pop"... 'Spiralling', the first single release, was voted Best Track of the Year at the Q Awards recently - it was their 8th UK Top 30 hit back in September.Very modest of them to call their own album stellar, wasn't it? As it turned out this was also their last Top 30 hit to date - in fact the only time they've appeared in the Top 39 singles since then was the recent revival of 'Somewhere Only We Know'. The (relative) success of this single is all the more impressive given that it was available to fans as a free download for a week but evidently enough people either didn't know or only got into the song too late. I guess that might have contributed to the song's meandering chart run, too.
As a track, 'Spiralling' sounds very like a band trying to sound unlike Keane, with its synth-pop production and aggressive mood. To some extent they'd already tried this trick by making 'Is It Any Wonder' the first single from their second album, but this seems to offer a somewhat bleaker vision of human nature, and indeed almost emulates Flobots with the ending monologue "Did you want to start a war". At the top of the track they're all shouting "HEY" in way that seems determinedly unlike the piano-led ballads that made them famous. It's a bit overdone, and Tom Chaplin is a bit out of his depth vocally, but to be fair it's a decent song underneath, and one of their most deserved hits.
Also appearing on: Now 57, 58, 59, 60, 64, 65
Available on: The Best Of Keane