Before kicking off this review I must declare a vested interest. I hate Keane and Mumford & Sons and am far from partial to The Killers, the bands that make up this side-project. I expected to hate this.
Yet the vocals on opening track ‘Departure’ suggest a very different proposition, and instigate a more vibrant album than its country music tag would suggest. In particular ‘State of Our Affairs’ sounds like the sort of track The National would be proud of: sweeping, slow and emotive.
At times Mt. Desolation is held back by the memories of the bands that made it. In particular ‘Bitter Pill’ sounds like the worst piano-led ballad Keane never made. Lyrically, ‘The Midnight Ghost’ is drivel: “I’ve tried so long to be / what the world expects of me” being so sub-Coldplay as to reinforce the lingering suspicions of this project.