[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Album review: Tears For Fears
By Tom Bishop
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Tears For Fears
Smith and Orzabal once again share writing and singing duties
After reuniting for a Las Vegas performance last year, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith have recorded their first joint Tears For Fears album for 15 years.

Everybody Loves a Happy Ending follows the duo's 13 hit singles and Gary Jules' chart-topping cover of their debut Mad World.

As the 1980s progressed the duo swapped the direct pop of Change, Pale Shelter and Shout for the dense psychedelia of The Seeds of Love, the album which relegated Smith to backing vocals and inspired the split.

The new album's title track suggests they have picked up where The Seeds of Love left off.

Send us your review

Curt and Roland have raided the music shop again, including everything plus the kitchen sink in a collection of carefully-crafted mini epics.

But beneath the brassy horns, stomping piano, filtered vocals and 70s pomp lie infectious melodies and a keen pop sensibility.

With titles such as Who Killed Tangerine, Tears For Fears once again summon up the ghost of Sgt Pepper; but this time he arrives via baggy 90s Manchester into an atmosphere sweetened by The Coral.

Tears For Fears
The album revives the psychedelic pop of 1989's The Seeds of Love
The jangling Call Me Mellow and sweeping Secret World would sit comfortably on daytime radio, daring other songs to match their ambition and bright, joyous spirit.

Like their previous work, there is darkness here if you look for it. The echoing beat of Size of Sorrow introduces the line "bathe in another man's grave", while simple piano tune The Devil bursts into a fraught drum-heavy chorus.

But the most mellow and introspective tunes - Who You Are, sung by Curt, and Ladybird - have a warmth that helps the songs flow seductively rather than stutter into self-indulgence.

Fearing an overblown finale, Last Days on Earth instead lowers us gently back to reality, a restrained hint that Tears For Fears have more tricks hidden up their sleeves.

Everybody Loves a Happy Ending is the rich, infectious sound of a duo who have not seen their comeback as an excuse for compromise.

The release of Everbody Loves a Happy Ending has been delayed by BMG records.

Back to top

Have Tears For Fears made a welcome return? Is this a Happy Ending or a new beginning?

I have been waiting years for Curt Smith to rejoin Tears For Fears. Rejoice. Curt has returned. I look forward to seeing them on tour and many more great albums from this incredible duo.
AG, Boston, Ma. USA

I have only heard Closest Thing To Heaven and loved it. I do hope the CD is as good as Seeds Of Love which is a classic. Roland's solo stuff recently was pretty "out there", not in a good way. Curt's solo stuff was never that great. So I hope this is the start to something more than a CD every six years or so. How about one a year for a while? Welcome back TFF.
Michael Erisman, Kansas City, USA

TFF managed to scrape by for way too long with a sorry excuse for talent. I was happy when they split and I think they should stay in the museum of new romanticism with OMD.
Steve, Islington

A fantastic album I haven't stopped playing since I downloaded it - and yes, I will be buying the actual CD the moment it is released. Definitely opens with a track very reminiscent of Sowing The Seeds but they haven't made an album plagiarising both the Beatles and themselves - it opens up. Glad to see them both back and making great music. Already looking forward to the next album.
Hayden, Los Angeles, CA

I have heard the new CD, and I have to say that I love it. I think this is one of their best albums yet. I am so glad that Curt and Roland are back together. I hope that critics will see this album for what it is. And I hope they come to Ohio on tour.
Jennifer, Columbus, Ohio, USA

I grew up with Tears For Fears music and having them back together again is very good! Im looking forward to getting my hands on the new album & I hope they will do some kind of tour as I was too young in the 80's to go to any! As the title says....Everybody Loves a Happy Ending!
Shaun, Birmingham

The album is really great. It brings back the same feeling as when I listened to REM's Reveal, only this time it is Tears For Fears, the band in which The Beatles reincarnated somehow (Please people don't get shocked for this opinion in case you consider The Fab Four a sacred thing -in fact to me it is)
Jaime Castro, Buenos Aires - Argentina

I wish this could be a happy beginning. Welcome back Roland and Curt, we have been waiting for your beautiful music since the Sowing The Seeds Of Love album. I've to listened some tracks of the new album, and I think there's a kind of sound... that sound that makes TFF oved by their fans. I'm waiting for the album release because I want to dream like I used to do in the 80s.
Alessandro, Turin, Italy

An exceptionally talented duo - with an immaculate creativity, looking forward to their next tour. Think I shall go & buy this new album and their first one too. I need to hear their 'Shout' lyrics - shout out against the cowards who try to terrorise the calm & harmonious of the land.
Helen, Staffordshire.

I feel it's the best news we've had in ages. Yes, it's a happy ending and also a great album, good lyrics and very Beatles-like but I'm glad to hear them again so I am going to buy this album.
Carmen, Etten-Leur, The Nederlands

A wonderful return, deliciously luxuriant and waspishly bellicose in equal turns, it is with gladdened hearts we trumpet the return of Tears For Fears. In an age of mechanical predictability, it's great to see Curt and Roland back with such a vengance. The album is quite, quite superb and will bring a smug smile to the faces of TFF fans worldwide.
Cammy B, Glasgow, Scotland

I think Roland and Curt getting back together will be a great success, I love all their hits such as Mad World, and Sowing The Seeds Of Love. Their new album is a slightly different sound to some of their previous work, but I think it will be just as popular; the pair never fail to make outstanding records, they are both brilliant songwriters and vocalists, not to mention the part they play on the guitars. If they promote Everybody Loves A happy Ending well enough, both here and in the US, then they'll definitely be "ruling the world" again, as it's a great song, and it'll definitely grow on the fans.
Natasha Babrahani, Stockport, UK

I purchased Everybody Loves a Happy Ending and it is absolutely brilliant. It gets my vote for album of the year. Call Me Mellow will be a huge worldwide hit while Ladybird is haunting. There isn't a bad song on the entire record. I just hope this isn't their last record.
Glenn, Los Angeles USA

Thank God they've buried their egos at last. I guess 20 years in the wilderness and several poor records finally knocked some sense into both of them. With Tears for Fears, the sum was always greater than the parts!
Karl Dunkerley, Sheffield, UK

I've been a HUGE fan of TFF since the 80s and was devastated when they split. It's fantastic they're back. It must have been difficult when Roland Orzabal emerged as the more competent singer of the two and egos came into play. Having followed Roland's work since then, he's inspiring and a musical and lyrical genius. Heard some of the new stuff via their website and already eagerly awaiting the release of the CD... and a UK tour. The US 'stole' TFF and we want them back!
Linda Noble, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK

I have downloaded this album off the net for free, to see if it is worth me buying it from a record shop... and I have to say that I am impressed.. not by the fact it is a groundbreaking piece of art or that it will break any moulds.., it is the fact that Tears for Fears have pulled it off again.

There are many styles they have dipped into, mostly to my mind XTC, (nonsuch era) and I did hear a chord line from John Lennon's Jealous Guy on Closest Thing to Heaven.

There are obvious Beatles references throughout, but as they always do, TFF have put their own spin on it. This is an album for TFF fans only... I will be surprised if it makes the top 40, but I do not think they want that. The production is superb , without being bloated and in some ways it carries on from Elemental, the fact that Curt Smith is back makes a huge difference. He has always had a delicate voice that Roland can envelop in a true TFF sound. I am now going to buy this from the record shop.
Hollis, Bristol, United Kingdom

As a 20 year fan of TFF, I agree with everyone else who says this is some of their best work. If you liked "The Seeds of Love", you will love the new one. If this came out when radio played this kind of music, it would have at least 3 hits on it...I only hope whatever is holding up the release doesn't prevent the duo from recording again in the future.
J.D, Dallas, Texas, USA

Brilliant. No more , no less. Absolutely fantastic. Nothing short of a classic.
Michael Forster, Newmarket, Canada

Tears For Fears 'plan new album'
07 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Gary Jules remains at number one
28 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Chart victory 'dream' for singer
22 Dec 03  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific