the Buzz for October 14th, 2008



Third records abound this week, as several key newcomers from the past few years all converge upon the second week of October attempting to grab hold of our attention and respect. I fully expect no fewer than one of these records to stand among the entire year’s best; let’s see how the rest of them stack up in kind.


Following the (for them, anyway) breakneck triumph that was Viva La Vida — it only took those silly fools of Coldplay four tries to make a (more or less) cohesive album! — all eyes fall this week to fellow British band Keane to see how they’ll respond.  Their first album, 2004’s Hopes and Fears, went platinum on the blazing strength of its two terrific singles, “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Everybody’s Changing”; 2006’s follow-up disc Under the Iron Sea stumbled a bit despite its blistering rock radio smash “Is It Any Wonder?,” which almost made me believe I’d side with Keane’s lead singer Tom Chaplin over that doofus Chris Martin in a karaoke duel.  Coming off of Chaplin’s shockingly pitch-perfect remake of “Under Pressure” (on which he literally seems to be channeling David Bowie!) for an EP late last year comes Keane’s third record, Perfect Symmetry.  The set’s leadoff single, the hard-driving “Spiralling,” holds a much grittier sound — perhaps even menacing — than anything we’ve heard from these guys heretofore, which is mighty fine by me, particularly considering their rivals in Coldplay have essentially been writing the same frickin’ song for ten years or better.  Watch out for this one; it could well be the sleeper of the fall.