Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic 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. Urb
    80
    This time the band offers a variety of styles, from uptempo rockers to gorgeous ballads to move you. [Jun 2006, p.119]
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    This lack of reinvention... does not mean lack of invention. [Jul 2006, p.108]
  4. Despite the rousing music and the earnestness of Tom Chaplin's voice, Keane still sing passionately about not very much in particular.
  5. Uncut
    70
    In truth, only an uncharitable curmudgeon could fail to appreciate Tim Rice-Oxley's vastly improved pop songwriting. [Jul 2006, p.102]
  6. An album to return to again and again, whose depth grows with every spin.
  7. Die-hard fans might rush to judge Under the Iron Sea as sounding a bit too much like U2.
  8. 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.
  9. Even if Keane hasn't completely gone down with Under The Iron Sea, the band is merely treading water here.
  10. [Songwriter Tim] Rice-Oxley sells his gifts short too often by falling back on tritely positivist pap like "Put It Behind You" and "Try Again," and even Andy Green's electrifying production can't save pasty, interminable songs like "Crystal Ball," "Broken Toy," and (c'mon, now) "The Frog Prince."
  11. It's not bad - which is just as well, as it will be inescapable.
  12. It would appear that Tim, Tom and Richard have spent some time at the U2 School of Squillion-Selling Records, their final project sounding more expansive and dramatic than Hopes And Fears ever did.
  13. Blender
    60
    Beautiful but strangely unhinged. [Jul 2006, p.100]
  14. Depending on your taste for high romance, it either adds up to heart-tugging pop or nice dinner music.
  15. Those who enjoy the smooth sounds of inoffensive MOR will find little fault in Keane.
  16. Mojo
    60
    Their new direction sounds suspiciously like the old one. [Jul 2006, p.100]
  17. Spin
    60
    There's virtually no tension or drama in Keane's surpassingly pretty pop. [Jul 2006, p.90]
  18. Whether you'll like the newest Keane offering depends largely on your appetite for melodrama.
  19. Paste Magazine
    60
    Keane knows its niche and plays it well. [Aug 2006, p.97]
  20. Iron Sea is filled with the sort of greeting-card poetry that would even give Bono pause.
  21. When they're not apeing War-era U2 ('Crystal Ball') they're apeing Achtung Baby-era U2 ('Is It Any Wonder?'). Otherwise they plod along, piano clip-clopping under all the electronic fuss, in thrall to their own pseudo-profundity.
  22. It’s as if Keane desperately wanted to move past the “three blokes playing simple little songs” label, but didn’t have the technical skill or the guts to pull it off.
  23. Under The Radar
    30
    If this is what happens when Keane attempt to delve into darkness, the mind reels at what these guys would sound like when they’re in a good mood. [#14]
  24. 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.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 113
  2. Negative: 4 out of 113
  1. JorgeP
    Apr 22, 2007
    10
    One of the best albums in history.
  2. May 26, 2018
    10
    Incredible album. One of the best album of all time. Better than all Coldplay's albums
  3. Feb 26, 2017
    10
    A beautiful and haunting display of music that delves into the deeper parts of the human consciousness. A great mix of rhythmic tracks andA beautiful and haunting display of music that delves into the deeper parts of the human consciousness. A great mix of rhythmic tracks and quieter pieces of reflection, it truly is a work of art worth listening to. Full Review »