Review: The Wave by Tom Chaplin

The Wave by Tom ChaplinIt’s taken Tom Chaplin three years to get out a solo album – three years since Keane went on hiatus and its members pursued solo projects, Tom’s solo album being on top of mind. Not that anybody was waiting for it. I don’t mean to be mean – I am a Keane fan, after all. You don’t really expect something grand on The Wave. You know you have Tom’s soaring, choir boy-like voice, still potent after all these years, albeit with a hint of grit that you get after the rumble tumble of the touring life (and growing older). He still does the job: there are moments when the switched is flicked and you just feel good about what you’re hearing. It just takes a bit of getting used to, I guess. There are different tricks at work – more straightforward tricks, more overly manipulative ones; I found myself yearning for the tinkle of Tim Rice-Oxley’s piano. It does the job, down to the broad-appeal statements, but I couldn’t help but feel like I’m listening to a cover band with the actual vocalist singing. I ended up wanting to hear an actual Keane album… which I did next. [NB]3/5


“It’s never gonna fade away.”

“Higher Than The Sun” by Keane | I know being a Keane fan, or even possibly mentioning Keane in these places, will get you hate from hipsters who don’t want vaguely indie sweater-and-slippers pop music, but, and I said this before, they’re my first favorite band, and therefore will automatically get mentioned in this place. The band’s releasing a best of album this November – like the Killers, they’re also hitting ten years of relative popularity – and it will have two new tracks in it, or more likely, outtakes from Strangeland, considering how “Higher Than The Sun” sounds. Unintentional association with the Primal Scream song of the same name aside, this song is… it’s all right. It’s what you’d expect from Keane. But it is, mostly likely, a Strangeland outtake, and it’s likely going to slide down most of us like that album did. That said, I know some Keane fans will love how the Philippines features prominently in the single art. [NB]

“I try to understand that I…”

“Everybody’s Changing” by Lily Allen and Keane | Exactly one year ago, I opened earthings! with a post about my first favorite song; little did I know that I’d watch the band live seven months later. And little did I know that this blog would go farther than I planned. This was supposedly an occasional hobby, spurred on by an old suggestion from my friend Claud, because she thought my (now no longer online) review of Pasta Groove’s debut album read pretty well. Now it’s a mostly-daily affair, with new music and rediscovered music and a surprisingly large amount of suggestions. So, from me, a massive thank you to everyone who’s been involved in this not-so-occasional hobby: to this blog’s major contributors, Rainy and Drea; to friends of the blog Edsel, Jayvee, Anna, Joann and Allene; to all of the artists who dropped me a line; and most importantly, to you who suggested songs, sat through my ramblings, and sometimes commented on them. Now, an attempt to start a tradition: I’m posting a cover of “Everybody’s Changing”. I was supposed to do the Lily Allen version, but then I found this…