Under The Iron Sea Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 96 Ratings

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  • Summary: Album number two for the stadium-friendly, piano-led British trio follows two years after the unexpected mega-success of their debut 'Hopes And Fears.'
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Aside from a single misstep (the title track, an instrumental that could serve as the too-ponderous theme for an art film about the rise and fall of Atlantis), the strings and things work well, adding density and drama.
  2. What they have done, to their credit, is take the best elements from those bands--Radiohead's soaring melodies, U2's scope and volume, Coldplay's dogged earnestness--and combine them into something that, for much of Under The Iron Sea's running time, is a perfectly respectable alternative to, say, the likes of Train or The Goo Goo Dolls or to Coldplay's comparatively bland X&Y.
  3. Despite the rousing music and the earnestness of Tom Chaplin's voice, Keane still sing passionately about not very much in particular.
  4. Whether you'll like the newest Keane offering depends largely on your appetite for melodrama.
  5. Depending on your taste for high romance, it either adds up to heart-tugging pop or nice dinner music.
  6. Keane knows its niche and plays it well. [Aug 2006, p.97]
  7. Keane have talked up Under the Iron Sea as being bleaker, more raw than their debut album. It is about the things they have seen over the last two years, the problems, the horrors, the sin. But Keane have not been uncovering the carcases of napalmed babies for the last two years. They’ve been playing music.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 52
  2. Negative: 2 out of 52
  1. May 6, 2012
    9
    If I could give it 9.5 I would because while I don't think it deserves a 10 I think it's better than Keane's debut effort. I think this album shows a more mature, slightly darker in places Keane. Chaplin's voice is again superb and tracks like Leaving So Soon, Is It Any Wonder and Crystal Ball stick in my mind, leaving a lasting impression. The slower songs like A Bad Dream and Hamburg Song are amazing in a different way. What really gets me about this album is the sound-scape. The use of synthesisers and distorted piano is increased and implemented perfectly on Under The Iron Sea. Overall I think this is an improvement to Keane's sound and an amazing album Expand
  2. Jun 29, 2012
    9
    A step down from their debut but this is still stellar album. It contains some experimental tracks that some longtime fans may not like. You really hear the difference on the slow songs. Some of which aren't that great. The albums artwork is a thing of beauty. All in all its a great effort, you just have to hit skip on maybe 2 tracks on the entire album. Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2012
    9
    A very good second album, not as impressive as the first, but many groups provide a slump in their second album, and this album keeps all my expectations about the band. Definitely, my heart is Keane. Expand
  4. Aug 5, 2013
    9
    This is definitely Keane's best effort as tends to be happen when bands are in turmoil. Emotion and passion was poured out onto this record and it shines through with the catchy, minorly experimental and detailed songs. Highlights include Crystall Ball, Bad Dream and The Frog Prince. All of the B-Sides are worthy of an Album in their own right and are amazing efforts. Expand

See all 52 User Reviews