Today’s featured artist, Keane, released a trio of strong LPs and a fun EP between 2004 and 2010 before dropping the dreadful Strangeland in 2012. Following that bomb, the band put out a greatest hits record (presumably featuring nothing from Strangeland) and then fell silent.
Keane is like an NFL running back who has three and a half great seasons, then gets a knee injury, tries to come back the following year and just doesn’t have the same speed or ability to cut anymore.
He bounces around a couple of teams, clinging to a roster spot as a backup, then ends up out of the league selling mattresses or something. You just hope he was smart with his money during his heyday.
Their first record, Hopes and Fears, put them solidly in Coldplay territory, featuring smart piano pop with earnest lyrics and soaring choruses. On Under the Iron Sea, they hardened and deepened that sound and delivered their best album yet.
After three strong albums to start their career, English trio Keane released the experimental EP Night Train in 2010. Recorded while on tour in several different cities, the EP contained collaborations with international rappers and MCs.
Today’s track, ‘Stop For a Minute,’ features Somali rapper-singer-poet K’NAAN who trades verses with lead singer Ben Chaplin and raps toward the end of the song.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll count down ten of my favorite male vocalists in popular music. Notice I wrote “ten of my favorite” rather than “my ten favorite” because I’m sure I’m leaving some people out and I want to stress that this group is far from set in stone. That said, these are the ten I came up with after some deliberation so that counts for something.
Many of my favorite artists are lacking in the vocal department. That’s not to say they don’t sing their own songs well — in most cases, I can’t imagine those tunes sung by anybody else — but I’m a fan for other reasons. Bob Dylan is a prime example, but you can throw in Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch and many others.