At this point, Keane falls short of fascinating, but bandmates Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes, and Tim Rice-Oxley could be headed in the right direction. After all, Radiohead, one of the group's principal role models, wasn't considered terribly innovative when it emerged during the first half of the Nineties, but that group soon proved to be among the finest collectives of the era. Likewise, Coldplay, another Keane influence that entered the spotlight in 2000, was accurately accused of nicking Radiohead's nascent style before the players established their own artistic identity with 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head. So don't write off Keane just yet. Sure, its album Hopes and Fears owes its success to the enduring appeal of the moody, dramatic pop rock that Radiohead and Coldplay are no longer satisfied with merely recapitulating. But if the past is any guide, Keane's next CD should be a vast improvement over its accessible but rather dull debut. This is one time when everyone should hope history repeats itself.


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