CD Review: Keane

Strangeland (Cherrytree/Interscope)

After being branded junior Coldplays for their 2004 debut, Keane have done their best to distance themselves from such comparisons. First they added some Radiohead-style weirdness, then they reached into a 1980s new-wave grab bag, and on the 2010 EP Night Train they collaborated with Canadian-by-way-of-Somalia rapper K'naan. On its fourth album, the British quartet gets back to the panoramic piano rock that earned all the attention in the first place. Back in their comfort zone, Keane turn out pleasant but mostly faceless alt-rock on Strangeland. Frontman Tom Chaplin makes sweeping declarations ("Nothing is bigger except the ties that hold us together") over weighty piano chords and dramatic percussion rolls on songs like "Silenced by the Night" and "Disconnected." Perfect for your next wine tasting. — Michael Gallucci