Out Today: Keane

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Keane
Night Train
(Cherrytree/Interscope)

On this eight-song EP, British trio Keane move even further away from the Radiohead/Coldplay comparisons that have chased them since their 2004 debut. They still make pretty piano-based pop with massive hooks and a spacious theatrical flair, but Night Train (which was recorded on the run at various studios during the band’s last tour) stretches the boundaries of their music. Like Keane’s last album, 2008’s Perfect Symmetry, Night Train expands the group’s piano-drums-vocals setup to include a wider repertoire of sounds. Somali rapper K’Naan shows up in “Stop for a Minute,” and the folksy “Clear Skies” features a strolling xylophone up front. A variety of rattles and hums stream throughout the record, as do fizzy synths, polyrhythmic percussion rolls and timekeeping handclaps. But it often sounds like dressing for a band seeking to change its reputation. The best Keane is the unadorned Keane. —Michael Gallucci (follow me on Twitter @mgallucci)

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