Keane - Hopes and FearsIn the realm of early 2000s music, few albums encapsulate the emotional depth and melodic resonance like Keane's debut, "Hopes and Fears." Released in May 2004, the album quickly became a hallmark of British pop rock, propelling the band to international fame and critical acclaim. With its distinctive piano-driven aesthetic, "Hopes and Fears" diverged from the guitar-heavy trend of its era, offering a fresh, emotive sound that resonated with a wide audience.

Keane, consisting of Tim Rice-Oxley on piano, Tom Chaplin as the lead vocalist, and Richard Hughes on drums, originally formed in Battle, East Sussex. Their music journey began in the 1990s, but it wasn't until the early 2000s that they started gaining significant attention. The lack of a traditional guitar in their setup marked their sound with a unique identity, characterized by Rice-Oxley’s intricate piano compositions and Chaplin’s hauntingly clear vocals.

"Hopes and Fears" covers a range of introspective themes, including hope, fear, heartbreak, and redemption. Its lyrics are deeply personal, often reflecting the inner turmoil and existential reflections of the band members themselves. The opening track, "Somewhere Only We Know," became an anthem of longing and nostalgia, capturing the essence of lost innocence and the search for a remembered or imagined haven.

Other standout tracks like "Everybody's Changing" and "Bedshaped" delve into the themes of transformation and alienation. "Everybody's Changing," characterized by its rhythmic piano and soaring chorus, speaks to the universal experience of feeling left behind in a world that is constantly evolving. "Bedshaped," with its poignant lyrics and memorable melody, explores themes of loss and longing, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.

Having remained a significant work in the annals of British music, it is only natural for the SDE Shop to release an exclusive limited-edition region-free Blu-ray as part of their ongoing surround series. This new edition features an all-new Dolby Atmos mix by David Kosten, plus the 'lost' song 'Love Actually' and is limited to 2,500 units worldwide. The original release sold 6 million copies worldwide, nearly half in the UK alone, and has been previously issued on both DVD and SACD with 5.1 surround mixes. However, the SDE Blu-ray instead contains brand new 5.1 mixes and a 96kHz /24-bit stereo mix of all tracks. Paul from SDE writes “Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road has created a warm, detailed and dynamic hi-res stereo remaster from the original unmastered mixes of the album and the 5.1 mix is brand new, derived from the Atmos Mix.”

Also, it is important to note when David Kosten went back to the original multi-track parts to recreate the complex and multi-layered production, he uncovered two dozen or more keyboard parts on many of the songs including synths, CP70, acoustic and electric pianos, pianettes, and more. Listeners will surely find these blended together in spatial bliss with the extremely fine vocals and drums.

Recommended for fans of Keane and spatial music collectors. It seems that copies are still available at the time of this writing, and the Blu-ray audio ships with a free SDE Surround Series slipcase.

This limited edition released May 10, 2024.

 Format Info

Blu-ray with 2024 Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround and 96kHz / 24-bit stereo mixes.  Previously available on CD, Vinyl, DVD, and SACD with different mixes, plus available via streaming platforms.



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 About the Author

Wesley Derbyshire Profile Image

Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.


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