Tears For Fears/The Very Best Of Tears For Fears [Mercury/Universal Records]

Tears For Fears are a British Pop/Rock duo formed in 1981. The group comprising mainly of singer/songwriters Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, the band has sold an amazing 22 million units worldwide. Active until 1991, the band split due to Smith’s reluctance to continue touring and then reunited to great fanfare in 2000. The band is currently recording and touring throughout the world.

Mad World—-More organic in sound than many of the duo’s releases, the vocal is smooth and comforting. The track has a nice allure of synth sounds and electric instrumentation. The advantage of two lead vocalists adds to the layered sound of the chorus and the intermittent horns are masterful. Very nice!! Smooth and comfortable.

Change—-Beginning with slight oriental flavored Duran Duran influences, the voice is smooth and relaxed. The duo add some nice spark when they sing together and the chorus is a grand example of this. The song has some nice synth flavored breaks that allow the song to be danceable and serious…this is superb. I love the line….”when does the end of me become the start of you?’. Think about that!

Pale Shelter—-Full of multi layered instruments as well as a healthy dose of synth, the voice enters the fray and reminds tou of classic 80’s bands like Naked Eyes or Duran Duran. This is exquisite i sound and textured…the band had a way with a soft and syrupy delivery. The two voices add a nice contrast…magnificent.

The Way You Are—-By far, one of my favorite tracks from this band. The chorus is a sweet irresistable candy that you buy over and over again. The tone of the music again conjures up slight Oriental images while the voice is a grand affair. One voice sings one thing, another sings the other…mounting a huge sounding synth excursion you never want to return from.

Suffer The Children—-Not entirely familiar with this track when I got this compilation, it took some time but grew on me like most of the other songs. The sound has a more organic sound to it, although the synth swirls are still apparent. The bass drum of the song keeps the momentum at a nice level and the chorus is big affair that I’m sure plays well live.

Mothers Talk [US Remix]—-Huge from the very first note, you know that this was made for the US charts. The sound is bombastic and shows the band at their very best. This track is more addictive than any of the bands ‘hits’. this is nice!!! The remix keeps the song moving at a nice pace, but allows for the vocal to still be relaxed and natural. Superb!!!

Shout—-You would be hard pressed to find any human being that was not familiar with this or a few other songs from this band. The duo literally ran the airwaves and MTV in and around 1984 and garnered a fortune in the process. The song is magnificent in bass driven synth and really emotive vocals. Again, the two vocalists recipe works so well on a song like this…this will still give you goosebumps and make you want to make a video!!!

Everybody Wants To Rule The World—-The Brits continued their worldwide success with this single that again featured pumped up synth rock from overseas and from a couple of pretty boys!!! The mood of the song carries empowerment and righteousness in a magnificent way. The song makes you think of the laid back style of bands like Spandau Ballet. The sound is nicely contagious and features just enough live instrumentation to make the band legitimate. Nicely done!

Head Over Heels—-Continuing with World Dominance, this song is a staple on AOR radio even today,The piano intro gives away the song immediately and it makes it instantly recognizable. The song builds to a nice climax as the voice enters with a syrupy delivery that makes everyone want to sing along. The song contains every ingredient that was necessary for worldwide success in the early 80’s. This remains timeless.

I Believe [A Soulful Re-Recording]—-With live audience sounds in the backdrop, the group delivers a recording that is almost reminiscent of live Joe Jackson!! The sound is piano and high-hat based with a slight vocal that nods to the blues. The harmonica adds a lost feel that bolsters the intensity of the song…nice sax and jazzy style. This is versatility defined!!

Sowing The Seeds Of Love—-Pressured to deliver anything close to previous release Songs From The Big Chair, the duo delivered a release full os psychedelia and fun. The lead off single cemented the bands place in history as it charted high and continued their dominance of the worlds charts. The song has a more polished and refined sound, that relies on instruments as well as synth. The dual vocal style is more magnificent than ever…if I had to pick a favorite song from this duo, this would be it.

Woman In Chains [w/Oleta Adams]—-Adams, long a drag queen favorite, appears on this release to a magnificent effect. The song is a down tempo affair that brings goosebumps and a certain sadness. The sound of the song is heavily layered with Erasure styled synth that settles the soul and brings tears to your eyes. The vocal of Adams is the highlight of the song and adds a haunting feeling that won’t soon leave you alone. Excellent!

Advice For The Young At Heart—-Wow!!! The song at the onset makes me think of bands like Curiosity Killed The Cat or Icehouse. The song has a relaxed feel that is fun and full of romp. this is exquisite synth pop that should have defined the 80’s. Following a recipe that has no wrong ingredients.

Laid So Low [Tears Roll Down]—-The song has a nice airy quality to it that makes it instantly irresistable. he vocal delivery is almost to sedate at the onset, but grows in intensity and allows for effects that just bolster the depth. This is nice!! underplayed and underappreciated.

Break It Down Again—-IF I have my facts straight, this is the sound of a band imploding…you can not tell from the sound of this track. Although the track features some rather funeral sounds at the onset, the track quickly becomes an almost funk filled track. The sound of the band seems huge…the backdrop is full of the progression of the times and it worked really well. This is another classic song that was ignored by to many people.

New Star [From The Movie Threesome]—-I find very few things about this track that i like…the sound abandons most of the familiar and pop oriented sounds of the band. The song is too guitar based for the vocal, and the vocal is almost a talk through. Terrible!!!

Goodnight Song—-Again, the delivery of this track leaves me slightly disappointed. Not at all what i would expect to end this release, the voice seems empty and uninspired. None the less, the strains of a great band can be heard and appreciated.

****1/4 out of 5


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