Perfect Symmetry

No disrespect to big daddies Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, and Elton John, but piano rock often fails miserably at, well, rocking. And Keane, the British three-piece behind several successive hit singles Stateside — including ”Somewhere Only We Know” and ”Is It Any Wonder?” — have tended in the past to make even their touchy-feely counterparts in Coldplay sound positively badass by comparison. But on their third release Perfect Symmetry, the band — still without either guitar or bass — have suddenly, gratifyingly, found their mojo. ”Spiralling,” the opener and first single, is brash, ambitious, even sexy, built toweringly on strutting melody lines and anthemic vocal woohs. On that and propulsive follow-up ”The Lovers Are Losing,” it’s as if some little T. Rex/Franz Ferdinand glam genie wormed its way into singer Tom Chaplin’s ear — and then got all hyped up watching old Bono clips on YouTube. Granted, the album is substantially front-loaded; nearly all the standouts come early, including the elegant ”Better Than This.” Still, there are small pleasures later on, like ”Pretend That You’re Alone,” a wry, midtempo charmer, and various pleasant returns to mellow form (see ”Playing Along” and the soaring title track). Only a few missteps, like the treacly, oddly Josh Grobanesque ”You Don’t See Me,” mar the mood. As rock goes, Symmetry remains a relatively quiet riot, but in the context of the band itself, it’s a welcome revelation. B+
Download This: Listen to ”Spiralling” on the band’s MySpace page

Perfect Symmetry
  • Music