It opens with waves of sound that build up and up as the song flows on creating a dreamlike and eerie feeling that will gently carry you away before 'Is It Any Wonder?' wakes your ears up. This track has more of a vocal punch than some would expect of Keane and is delivered with great precision.
Moving on with the W. B. Yeats inspired 'A Bad Dream' it is clear how much Keane have developed especially in their sound; there is something very Lennon/McCartney is the way this song is presented. And they manage to continue this high standard through to the rest of the album. In particular 'Hamburg Song' with its church organ sound married to a near perfect vocal performance and keyboard notes that drop into a pool of still sound with a breath holding quality. If you only ever listen to one love song, make it this one because it doesn't suffer from sugar saturation. Another number that must be marked is title track 'The Iron Sea' which is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's 'Careful With That Axe Eugene' with underlying dark tones produced by a throbbing hum. 'Under The Iron Sea' finishes with 'The Frog Prince'- a firework burst upon burst of colour with a vocal thread so tight it makes it own note.
The only criticism of this album is the vocal driven track 'Put It Behind You' which tries a bit too hard to be something in particular and winds up being nothing in particular and the quality of the rest of the album makes this glitch stand out a little more than it should do.
Overall Keane have not just produced an album, but more an emotional work of art that pulls you in song after song. 'Under The Iron Sea' is an album worth having for 'Atlantic', 'A Bad Dream', 'Hamburg Song' and 'The Frog Prince' yet with the added bonus of the rest it is a package of perfection.