Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published March 6th 2022
New one from Tears For Fears after 17 years away
As I said before, because PayPal are treating me like I don't exist, ghosting me and cancelling my account, getting paid by some of the people I write for has been difficult. Well, one decided to give me 3 digital albums in lieu of money. Not exactly ideal, but two of them were quite good and so making lemonade out of lemons, I'll review them for WeekendNotes.
The second is The Tipping Point by Tears For Fears (2022).
I was nervous about this one. The last couple of Tears For Fears albums, over a decade ago (17 years since their last studio album), granted, were not been the greatest. And yet Curt Smith, one half of the band, and his daughter Diva released a beautiful version of 'Mad World' during the pandemic.
But I needn't have worried. At all. Where Love Sux was a fine album, this is a really good one. Their voices are once again at the fore and the music is amazing and the lyrics are so very good.
There's not much more to say. Let's look at the list.
'No Small Thing' Starting with an acoustic guitar and building steadily over its almost five minutes, this is an anthem and it soars and grows. "Freedom is no small thing…" indeed. This is an opener that makes you take notice.
'The Tipping Point' Starting with a soundscape like a late 90s, early 2000s Mike Oldfield album, this goes in a more straight-forward pop line, but with the effects accentuating the vocals, not detracting from them. A slower song, this one almost feels like the theme song for some dark Netflix series… and I don't mean that in a bad way. Interestingly, it was written when one of the members' wife was dying.
'Long, Long, Long Time' There are some nods to modern production, but the driving piano really keeps this going nicely with some soaring vocal performances. This has been a good album so far.
'Break The Man' There is a hint of anger about this track that lifts it up and keeps it humming along, with those acoustic guitars back again, standing their own against modern production. The vocals and lyrics are strong here; according to the YouTube blurb, it's about standing up to the institutionalised patriarchy.
'My Demons' Complete change of pace and sound, and it is definitely one of the album highlights for me. There is a more rock or industrial feel about this one that really works well.
'Rivers Of Mercy' The longest song here at over six minutes, it is also one of the slower ones, and yet the voice is allowed to dominate proceedings, and that is great because this song is a man looking for something he desperately needs. A beautiful track, but maybe a fraction long.
'Please Be Happy' A piano-led ballad with a great orchestra addition and the voices just soaring, this follows on so well from the last track, like an uplifting coda. This is a beautiful song. When I listened on random, this worked so well on its own as well.
'Master Plan' The start is a teaser to the old elements of their discography, but the voices are definitely more matured here, and there is even a hint of The Beatles or maybe a less OTT Oasis about this song. Another highlight for me.
'End Of Night' We lift the tempo again and this track has another rockier, dirtier sound about it that works so well when these two sing together like they do here. Some of the production is a little out of place, but most of this song is just full-ahead, with a falsetto chorus to top it off.
'Stay' This slow closer lets the vocals dominate and that's great because this is a wonderful, calming track to close out on.
10 tracks, around 40 minutes, so an average length for an album, but, more importantly, if you look at the run-down, not a bad track here. I think if there is one complaint I have, it's that the modern production sounds and techniques sometimes overwhelm the feel that the album was going for. While I do understand looking at the now, I think that does remove the idea this could be a timeless album, like a lot of their 1980s heyday work has become.
However, having said that, this is a good album, and one I am glad I have received. And, for what it's worth, no, I will not be talking about the third album I was given. I liked maybe three tracks from it, and it was just a disappointment.
I have always been a fan of Tears for Fears. My fav including the video being Head over heals. I particularly like the title track of the new album, The tipping point, sounds great. I am happy these guys are still making music. They both have fantastic voices. Thanks for reviewing.