Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. Basically, this is a fantastic band releasing twelve brilliant songs, and it's not only the best guitar album you'll ever hear with no guitars on it, it's one of the best this year generally.
  2. Confidence bursts throughout, and for a band that has been around seven years and has never released a studio full-length album until now, achieving nearly epic-like status is quite impressive.
  3. Q Magazine
    As a collection of songs, this is hugely impressive. As a debut album, its confidence is right up there with Definitely Maybe. [May 2004, p.96]
  4. Entertainment Weekly
    Music to while away the time before the next Coldplay--or Travis, or Starsailor, or Muse--album arrives. [11 Jun 2004, p.125]
  5. There isn't much variety on the disc, which many will find a bit thin after repeated spins, but there's no doubting the band's clean, confident sound.
  6. Mojo
    Somewhere Only We Know is one of 2004's loveliest tunes, and while nothing else on their debut album quite matches this apogee of woebegone non-energy, there's plenty to keep the eyes welling up. [Jun 2004, p.116]
  7. Hopes and Fears contains more hooks than most pop groups manage in their careers.
  8. A pretty and meticulously-crafted collection of songs.
  9. Blender
    A rather polite album... but it's also comprehensively gorgeous. [#27, p.138]
  10. This album is full of ballads fuelled by feelings of alienation, but Chaplin's voice is consistently powerful and lacks the fragility that would give these songs the edge the band obviously thinks they have.
  11. Keane rely too heavily on Chaplin's show-stopping vocals, and the radio-friendly simplicity of the lyrics grates.
  12. Despite some fine moments, on the whole there's not enough that's memorable or above average. No one would give Keane a second glance if Tom Chaplin did not possess such a gift of a voice.
  13. The 11 tracks on Hopes And Fears have an almost complete lack of soul and even distinction between one another.
  14. The continual sense of aesthetic, structural and emotional conservatism constantly makes the listener feel short-changed, Singing Tom persistently pleading his own honesty and kindness and suitability and weakness.
  15. Uncut
    Pretty, but pretty vacant. [Aug 2004, p.102]
  16. Strangely: no guitar, only piano. Which, strangely, doesn't make them sound any more romantic, nor does it add interest to the other songs, which are either too slow, too genre, or too lyrically distracting.
  17. A product so meticulously calculated, so shamelessly designed for the widest possible demographic, so wholeheartedly shallow, you suspect Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell must be dumbstruck in admiration.
  18. Coldplaya-hatas will loathe Keane; most others will just be insulted.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 162 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 162
  1. KillianD
    Jul 5, 2007
    10/10 This album is a spectacular album. Full Stop.
  2. ChuckS
    Feb 9, 2005
    This is the best album this year by far
  3. marianl
    Jan 8, 2005
    i really love this band and their music. it's about time to have a new refreshing sound in music. everything else was sounding the same. i really love this band and their music. it's about time to have a new refreshing sound in music. everything else was sounding the same. i wish this band everlasting success. bravo!! Full Review »