Keane’s first album in seven years is Cause and Effect, a middle of the road album that’s comfortably Keane. It plays like it’s 2004 all over again, yet it plays like a record that’s worth listening to. Tom Chaplin’s voice is still as amazing as it was back then, and the songwriting of Tim Rice-Oxley is still superb. If you missed Keane during their hiatus, then you’ll love the return regardless.
With Cause and Effect, Keane isn’t out to experiment or do new things. They’re out to reconnect with a group of fans that they haven’t played to in the past seven years. They’re also out to connect with new fans by putting their best foot forward. They’re going to do that with the melodies and piano middle-of-the-road songs like “You’re Not Home”, “Love Too Much”, “Stupid Things” and “Phases.” The rest of the album isn’t that far removed from that level of quality, but those four songs stick out as the best songs on the record.
Keane is a complete group, but it goes the way that Rice-Oxley and Chaplin go. The band wouldn’t be what they are without either of them. Chaplin’s voice is instantly identifiable, and Rice-Oxley has written some of the best songs of the past twenty years, whether he performed them with Keane or somebody else sang them. Keane’s resume speaks for itself. So, while this record doesn’t resonate instantly the way that some of the band’s other work has, it’s still important music and worth listening to. If it serves no other purpose other than the band to hop back out on tour, that’s just fine… It’s great to have Keane making new music again.