Hopes and Fears (Interscope)

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Keane, with Aveo and Matt Pond, PA The Grog Shop Wednesday, June 16
With Coldplay mired in the studio or busy with dirty nappies, courtesy of Chris Martin's fruitful little bundle of joy, what's a fan of weepy, piano-heavy Britrock to do in the meantime? Why, listen to the Irish trio Keane, whose debut recently staved off Morrissey to remain the U.K.'s No. 1 album.

In addition to the 'Play, Keane borrows heavily from other super-sensitive blokes: The dewy-eyed chords and dramatic chorus of "Bend and Break" takes its epic swoons from Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar," and Oliver Chaplin's world-weary vocals make "This Is the Last Time" sound like a lost Travis B-side. The latter half of the disc is stuffed with slow tempos and dull instrumentation, and has a few Eurosynth clunkers that sound like yuppie bar trifles. But then it picks up again with the fantastic finale "Bedshaped," whose chorus is a towering mix of synth burbles and youthful optimism that ascends like a Broadway show-stopper.

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