"Crystal Ball" is a song performed and composed by English rock band Keane, and featured on their second studio album, Under the Iron Sea. The song was released on 21 August 2006 as the third single from the United Kingdom album version (see 2006 in British music). The song was co-written by a London teenager, Elijah Volkova. "Crystal Ball" was also released on 18 August 2006 in the Netherlands and peaked at #20 in both the Dutch Singles Chart and the UK Singles Chart.
"Crystal Ball" was composed by Tim Rice-Oxley in 2006 under permission of Elijah Volkova, co-writer of the song. It was recorded at the Helioscentric Studios, East Sussex and at the Magic Shop, New York. Guitar effects are created by a synthesizer Yamaha CP60M.
The music video for "Crystal Ball" was released by NME on 4 August 2006 It features the American actor Giovanni Ribisi. The director was Giuseppe Capotondi. It is about an estate agent losing his identity.
A woman is helping her husband (Ribisi) and young son get ready to leave the house. She tells her husband to pick up the dry cleaning for her. He then gets into his Toyota Camry and drives off with his son.
We next see the man get to his office and warmly interact with a secretary. There are photographs on his desk of him with his family. We then see him showing off a house to a couple, implying that he is a real estate agent. We then see him work some more in his office.
Later, the real estate agent returns to his house, where he finds that a red Ford Taurus is parked outside it. His keys don't seem to work so he knocks on the door and rings the bell. His wife partially opens the door and looks at him with surprise when he tries to enter. She then calls to someone off-screen.
A man appears behind the upset woman and the real estate agent speaks to the woman with a look of disbelief on his face. The woman then shuts the door on him. We next see the real estate agent look in the window of the house and smile at his son, but this only frightens the boy. We next see the real estate agent angrily trying to explain the situation to a police office as the man and his wife talk to another officer. The real estate agent is ushered away and we see him driving away in his car still being tailed by the police.
After making some phone calls and wandering around in frustration, we see the man wake up in his car in the parking lot of his office. When he gets out of the car, he takes a look around him with a look of surprise on his face, perhaps thinking it was all a dream. He walks into the office and waves at his secretary who stands up in surprise. He then finds the man he saw in his house now sitting at his desk. He rushes to keep the man from phoning security and then begins to argue with him angrily. He then stops when he sees that the photographs on his desk now show the other man with his family instead of himself.
When the man is finally thrown out of the building, he sees someone run toward his car in the distance. He runs to the car and jumps on the hood, shouting at the person inside, claiming that the car belongs to him. In the end, the person ignores him and drives the car away, leaving the man standing in the parking lot confused and defeated. The story is intercut with footage of the band playing together in a room.
The video was also recycled for the US release video for the single Nothing in My Way, albeit with the band footage removed and subtitles added. At around the time of this single release it was announced that Tom Chaplin had gone into rehab for 'drug and alcohol addiction'. It is noticeable that the original video does not feature any close up shots of Chaplin, but several of Tim Rice-Oxley and Richard Hughes, though it is unknown whether this is deliberate.