I walked across an empty land/I knew the pathway like the back of my hand/I felt the earth beneath my feet /Sat by the river, and it made me complete.
Do you remember those lines and their melody? I do from the very first word on. And that is not because I played the Playstation Karaoke game Singstar back when I was a teenager almost every day. It is because the track Somewhere Only We Know by the British alternative band Keane is a true masterpiece, just like their whole debut record Hopes and Fears.
It was released today exactly 15 years ago – so it would be a perfect year for them to go on tour with their famous debut album, just like some other artists do. But it seems like they won’t do another Hopes and Fear tour but rather release a whole new album after a hiatus of 5 years. On their homepage they declared the release of it for some time during this year and already set some show dates for the summer.
Who needs guitars anyway, right?
But let’s go back to Hopes and Fears. Did you know that the whole record was made without the use of any guitar? Pretty unlikely for a year in which Franz Ferdinand released their debut album but a pretty extraordinary and bold move for an alternative band. Especially in Great Britain the record has been very successful: nine times platin status and it won two times at the Brit Awards in the categories Best British Album and Best British Breakthrough Act back in 2005.
To this day, Hopes and Fears delivers the perfect mixture of catchy hooks, soft ballad elements and uplifting vibes, all bound together by really, really strong songwriting. Some people might still call it ‘an imitation of Coldplay, but that is too simple for Keane‘s perfectly arranged songs which still run in the radios 15 years later. Every tracks melody is designed to stick in the listener’s head, but not in an annoying but rather good way. It’s a blueprint for a perfect pop album and Keane have been desperately chasing its legacy ever since because for them this wonderful record might actually be more of a burden than a blessing.
So, when you haven’t listened to the famous record yet, now is the perfect time! And who knows, maybe Keane will go back to their roots with their new material and release a Hopes and Fears 2.0? We shouldn’t give up on them.