Imported from the UK
Filling in the holes that love can vacate, Keiko's eponymous titled debut album on Timbuktu Talking Records is a brave attempt to paper over the cracks due to the doomed inevitability of the majority of songs lining the walls of this album.
Rich in melancholy but with a tender, warm heart that occasionally suggests better times lie ahead, 'Keiko' is piano-led with electronic backing bringing to mind the work of Ben Folds Five with moments of the Blue Nile's 'A Walk Across the Rooftops'.
From the moment opening number, Frowned Upon begins with its brooding sound and self-deprecating manner to the honest confessions of Crumb, any suggestions of a joyous occasion are soon diminished.
The latter song with its wonderful stringed accompaniment
is full of self-loathing and reminiscent of Radiohead's 'Creep' as the
various pressures of modern society soon mount up: "Want to trade
these limbs please. Got to make them more beautiful."
It is often the tone of the music, however, that offers a more relaxed feel to the tense lyrical content where shards of light can be seen between the layers of grey and black.
The commercial overtone of Riverstone is one such example where Keiko digress musically offering a slightly more upbeat feel which again is displayed in the hazy keyboard tones of Stop Lights, and the jazz-tinged, Jealous Eyes.
This, however, is where Keiko's weakness lies, for it is those moments of deep reflection that this album truly shines.
Look no further than the beautiful ballad, Trojan, and
the sublime, Churches & Chapels that is steeped in regret and wistful
longing and perfectly concluded with the instrumental, After with its
pulsating heartbeat bringing the curtain down on a truly promising debut.