Keane, "The Night Train EP" (Cherrytree/Interscope)
Release Date: May 11, 2010
Keane's third album, 2008's "Perfect Symmetry," kicked off with the unexpectedly playful "Spiralling," and the melodic rock trio gets even more experimental on the eight-track "Night Train EP." Written and recorded during the band's 2009 world tour, it takes the U.K. act in bold new directions, most notably on two collaborations with Somali/Canadian rapper K'Naan, "Stop for a Minute" and "Looking Back." The record is "a very eclectic collection of songs," says the band's London-based manager Adam Tudhope, who describes the K'Naan collaborations as "big, bold, catchy anthems, produced in quite a polished way." Other collaborators include Japanese MC Tigarah on "Ishin Denshin (You've Got to Help Yourself)." One track, "Your Love," features a rare lead vocal from songwriter/keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley, but throughout, strong melodies and the soaring voice of Tom Chaplin are well to the fore. The EP "may be a mix of styles and genres of music," Tudhope says, "but it's full of the hallmarks that make Keane Keane-not least Tom's amazing voice, which has grown in stature over the last couple of years."