Keane - Hopes & Fears (Deluxe)
Review by Jack Foley
ON May 10, 2004 Island Records released what was to become the biggest selling album of the year… Keane’s Hopes & Fears, thereby giving birth to one of the brightest new acts of recent times.
The album subsequently sold over 5.8 million copies worldwide, garnered two Brit Awards and has since been voted one of the “Best British Albums” ever in a Q Magazine/HMV poll.
And yet it wasn’t the overnight success some believed. Over the course of 10 years as an unsigned band, Keane had written what was to become one of the classic albums of our time, and one of the last multi-million selling albums of this generation.
As a debut record, it stood alone in its originality due to the absence of any guitars and Tom Chaplin’s powerful, almost operatic vocal delivery.
But while it marked a triumph for the three boys and friends from Battle in East Sussex, it was a success not without controversy, quickly changing the band’s lives and threatening not only their long-standing friendships, but the career of Keane as well.
Having fought against the grain for a decade around the country’s backroom bars in the back of a van, this sudden shot to fame for Keane transformed the very dynamics that had reaped them these rewards in the first place.
Chaplin’s battle with drugs came as a shock but was evidence of how sudden celebrity and global demand had taken its toll. Fortunately, Keane appear to have weathered the storm and prospered… with most recent album, Perfect Symmetry furthering the success story.
The Deluxe release of Hopes & Fears offers a worthwhile trip down memory lane for fans, as well as a decent reminder of why Keane were able to become one of the biggest acts on the planet so quickly.
It also marks the final and flagship release of the Island 50 classics re-releases.
And it’s delivered in style… The original 12 tracks (which include such seminal hits as Somewhere Only We Know, Everybody’s Changing and Bedshaped) are augmented, on CD1, by Jo Whiley Live Lounge and Lamacq Live versions of some of the album’s most well-known moments.
CD2, meanwhile, boasts a standout DJ Shadow remix of We Might As Well Be Strangers – an absolute highlight – as well as demos, zenomorphic singles, B-sides (Snowed Under) and an unreleased track, Into The Light.
There’s even a live EP (originally released in May 2005) that features four of the biggest hits.
So, while some Deluxe versions seem irrelevant and more of an opportunity for record companies to cash in… this one gets a big stamp of approval. It’s a fine enhancement to what is arguably one of the best debut albums of recent times.
- Snowed Under
- We Might As Well Be Strangers (DJ Shadow Remix)
- Into The Light
- Call Me What You Like (Demo)
- Closer Now
- Wolf At The Door
- She Has No Time (Demo Version)
- Call Me What You Like (Zoomorphic Re Record)
- Everybody’s Changing (Original Demo Fierce Panda)
- The Way You Want
- This Is The Last Time (Fierce Panda Demo)
- Bedshaped (Fierce Panda B-Side Single)
- Somewhere Only We Know (Live at The Forum, London)
- We Might As Well Be Strangers (Live at ColumbiaFritz, Germany – 19/5/04)
- This Is The Last Time (Acoustic, Mill St Brewery, Toronto 20/9/04)
- Everybody’s Changing (Live Airwaves Festival, Reykjavic)