Keane - Under the Iron Sea

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Keane - Under the Iron Sea
Keane Iron Sea.jpg
Studio album by Keane
Released 12 June 2006
Recorded 2005–06
  • Helioscentric Studios (Rye, East Sussex, UK)
  • The Magic Shop (New York City, United States)
Length 50:30
Label Island
  • Andy Green
  • Keane
Keane chronology
Hopes and Fears
Under the Iron Sea
Perfect Symmetry
Alternative cover (not for sale)
Cover for release with UK bonus DVD
Cover for release with UK bonus DVD (not for sale)
Singles from Under the Iron Sea
  1. "Atlantic"
    Released: 24 April 2006
  2. "Is It Any Wonder"
    Released: 29 May 2006
  3. "Crystal Ball"
    Released: 21 August 2006
  4. "Nothing in My Way"
    Released: 30 October 2006
  5. "A Bad Dream"
    Released: 22 January 2007
  6. "Try Again"
    Released: 9 February 2007


  "Under the Iron Sea" is the second studio album by the English rock band Keane, released on 12 June 2006. During its first week on sale in the UK, the album went to #1, selling 222,297 copies according to figures from the Official Chart Company. In the United States, the album went to #4 on the Billboard 200, selling 75,000 copies in its first week there. Since 22 January 2006, the album has sold over 3,000,000 copies worldwide.

The band describes "Under the Iron Sea" as a progression from "Hopes and Fears" with electronic influences, describing the record as a "sinister fairytale-world-gone-wrong".



Album history and information

After the release of their debut album, "Hopes and Fears", Keane embarked upon a world tour that reached virtually all Europe and North America and which culminated in October 2005. As seen on Strangers, the band had been having trouble since the middle of 2004, shortly after the release of the debut. The suggestion "Hamburg Song" is about the bad-turned relationship between singer Tom Chaplin and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley – composed circa August 2004 – develops the focus of the conflict. During the tour, Rice-Oxley kept composing new songs that would later appear in future releases such as B-sides "Let It Slide" and "Thin Air". According to Chaplin, Rice-Oxley had composed at least 50 new tracks as of April 2006.

The name of the album is based on a lyric appearing on the track, "Crystal Ball" which reads "I've lost my heart, I buried it too deep, under the Iron Sea". It also shares title with the eighth track and Keane's first instrumental, "The Iron Sea". The "Iron Sea" is the metaphoric name for the group's (especially Rice-Oxley's) preoccupations about their uncertain future and the sudden fame they were having.

The album's title was announced by a handwritten note, signed by the entire band, reading:

"Nothing in My Way" (previously known as "Nothing in Your Way"), "Try Again" and "Hamburg Song" debuted between late 2004 and 2005 during the Hopes and Fears Tour. The two latter songs made their first appearance on Strangers, still on demo version while the first only appeared until the album's release. The three first singles, "Atlantic", "Is It Any Wonder" and "Crystal Ball", were premiered at a secret gig in London on 5 April.

Notable changes from the previous releases by Keane during the "Hopes and Fears" era are the typeface and style of the cover art. Sanna Annukka, an artist from Brighton, designed the cover art for all Keane releases since March 2006, when this album's cover art was developed (on 14 March). The typeface also changed from the "Cochin" typeface used on the 2004 and 2005 releases. The newer font was specially designed for Keane (but no specific name was given apart from the "UTIS" fan-name).



The first pre-release before the album was "Atlantic", which was issued as a download-only music video single on 25 April, featuring a specially extended version of the song incorporating the outro from album track "The Iron Sea". Irvine Welsh, author of the novel Trainspotting, directed the video, which was filmed in black and white on a remote Sussex beach, and did not feature the band. "Is It Any Wonder?" followed as the first single proper, out 29 May. Its video was directed by Kevin Godley, best known for his work on music videos for The Police and Duran Duran in the mid-1980s.

The record was released 12 June 2006 internationally. However, the album was accidentally put on sale for a few hours on 2 June 2006 by Apple Computer's Belgian iTumes Music Store, and while this was widely publicised as a leak of the album, no one on the band's messageboard was able to buy it in this time frame. A US edition of the album eventually leaked in its entirety to file-sharing networks on 5 June 2006, and the Mexican edition was released early on 9 June.



Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (63/100)
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars
Entertainment Weekly A−
The A.V. Club B−
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars
Q 4/5 stars
Pitchfork Media (4.1/10)
The Guardian 3/5 stars
Billboard (Positive)

"Under the Iron Sea" received generally favourable reviews from critics. Review aggregating website Metacritic reports a normalised score of 63/100, based on 24 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.



Track listing

UK version

All tracks written by Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley and Richard Hughes.

No. Title Length
1. "Atlantic" 4:13
2. "Is It Any Wonder?" 3:06
3. "Nothing in My Way" 4:00
4. "Leaving So Soon" 3:59
5. "A Bad Dream" 5:06
6. "Hamburg Song" 4:37
7. "Put It Behind You" 3:36
8. "The Iron Sea" 2:57
9. "Crystal Ball" 3:53
10. "Try Again" 4:27
11. "Broken Toy" 6:07
12. "The Frog Prince" 4:22


Keane - Under the Iron Sea

EU Island 00602567177425    LC00407 (2018).

This record for sale is a 2018 re-press of the album first released in 2008.

Record manufactured in the EU.

The vinyl record attains a Mint- grading suggesting very few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked and free from tears, stains or stickers.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong, undamaged spine, displaying very clear, printed script.

The album's printed inner sleeve is perfectly preented.

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