Monday, February 09, 2009

"Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane (Hopes and Fears)

This is the kind of song that I hear and think, "what happened to the days of the great melodies?" I latched onto it after hearing it a couple of times in the satellite radio playlist of our brunch place (I don't listen to top 40, so the only time I hear popular music is when it's playing in the background). And I latched onto it immediately--it's a beautiful melody, with lyrics that actually seem to be talking about the melody itself: "Oh simple thing, where have you gone?" (Mmmm...delicious self reflection). For the longest time, from hearing it at a distance, I thought it was a Coldplay song, and that in fact hindered me from figuring out who and what it actually was. I might therefore conclude that this band sounds kind of generically fin-de-siecle alterna-rocky. And I would probably be correct, but 1) they're doing it with just a piano and drums and some overdubs (and, you know, a lead singer with the voice of an angel), and 2) gauging the sound of the current era and emulating it (if indeed that's what they're doing) is a demonstrably rare and difficult-to-master skill.

Still, man, that's a great melody. And I think the days of the great simple melodies were never here, it's just that the songs that have them tend to stick around.


Anonymous said...

I am a Keane fan and I found your article about "Somewhere Only We Know" through Google. It is indeed a great song and Keane are the greatest band on Earth. You should listen to it more.

Lilita said...

So I've heard this song many times (We do manage to listen to a bit more top 40 here) and enjoyed it quite a lot but never seen the video, and, I have to say, the lead singer does not look at all as I pictured him. And, dang, don't you think they were FREEZING during this shoot?? My concern for their health makes watching the video almost impossible. Back to the radio for me

sageblue said...

I wish I was more of a Keane fan, but their latest album is a mess; from Under the Iron Sea I'd recommend "Is It Any Wonder?" for another great hook and "A Bad Dream" for drama.