mon 27/06/2022

Album: Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point

Album: Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point

The comeback after the comeback might just be the one...

Tears For Fears were an odd non-presence through their most successful years. They were right up there in the premier league of stadium rock-pop bands, but had none of the Celtic romantic bombast of U2 and Simple Minds, weren’t as weird as Eurythmics or Depeche Mode, as muso as Sting, nor as showbiz as Duran Duran or late Queen.

Their Songs From the Big Chair album sold eight million copies, and everyone of a certain age can just about chant along to “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, but what really was there to them?  

It was all very earnest, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith’s vocals in that odd chesty new wave style even as their musical chops suggested they’d be more comfortable progging out, the slogany “meaningfulness” of the songs perfectly suiting the t-shirt catchphrase style of the era. Even though they’ve gone through somewhat more interesting iterations through 1989’s more romantic Seeds of Love, a split which left TFF as an Orzabal solo project, and subsequent 2000s reunion, they always retained nagging sense of eighties hollowness, of trying to fill too much space with too little. 

But this album is oddly different. It’s still got big reverbs, chanted bits and mindbendingly earnest lyrics - but it sounds a bit less Tears For Fears. Ballady songs like “The Tipping Point”, “Long, Long, Long Time”, “Please be Happy”… actually almost every song here… sound like they’ve been listening to their offspring in grand gestures – people like Coldplay, Elbow and even Take That’s comeback – while “My Demons” is practically a Depeche Mode tribute. But fantastically, that works to the duo’s advantage. 

Their voices are less mannered, the romantic sonic sweep is more lush, it sounds like they are enjoying the studio for its own sake rather than to reach to the far corners of big arenas. And their earnestness – which was on full display in a recent documentary – is clearly finally working to their personal and creative advantage. Their love of therapy, which was always there in their titles and lyrics, has actually born fruit: this sounds like a band more comfortable in their own skins than they’ve ever been, and using all their skills to express their own personal truths instead of reaching for grand abstractions. Their 2004 reunion album was called Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, but the title would be far more appropriate for this one.

@joemuggs

Hear the title track:

Their voices are less mannered, the romantic sonic sweep is more lush, it sounds like they are enjoying the studio for its own sake

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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