Fri, May 4, 2012, 01:00

StrangelandIsland ***

Having seen their last album, Perfect Symmetry, dismissed as “over-indulgent”, the three- piece who can’t get a break from the critics have returned to the tight melodies of their early work on their fourth studio album. It can’t help their case that the ghost of Coldplay lurks around Strangeland, but they have succeeded in putting together a robust collection of piano-pop songs that, while not exactly being inflammatory in their appeal, will steady their ship somewhat. Sovereign Light Cafe and Disconnected are focused and euphonic affairs, and while there aren’t any duds here, what is lacking are any sure-fire hit singles – or dollops of passion. More thoughtful work such as The Starting Line suggests a new direction for future work; a change is certainly needed if Keane are to move their sound along.

Download tracks: Disconnected, Sovereign Light Cafe