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Review: Tears for Fears reaches new heights with 'The Tipping Point'

Group's first album in 17 years
Tears For Fears
Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 11:59:17-05

(KERO) — Whenever artists take an extended break from recording new music, fans aren’t sure how the new album will sound.

Will it live up to their past work? Will crash under weighty expectations?

“The Tipping Point,” will be released Friday, Feb. 25th, is Tears for Fears first album in 17 years and really shatters those expectations.

Not an easy thing to do since the British duo of Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal have sold more than 30 million records and had the multi-platinum selling 1985 album “Songs From the Big Chair.” That 1985 album featured massive hits “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure about a minute into the first song “No Small Thing” which starts out acoustically. But the track immediately grabs your attention and the album doesn’t let go from that point on.

My favorite track is “Long, Long, Long Time” which meshes Tears for Fears synth stylings with some truly gorgeous background singing from Carina Round.

“There’s just something uniquely bizarre about this song,” said Smith. “Because It’s very different to anything I’ve ever heard: it’s a bunch of parts that really shouldn’t work together but somehow do, down to the time signature changes from verse to chorus. It’s a song that was searching for direction, and sort of found its own, especially once Carina Round, who sings with us on tour came in, and joined on the chorus.”

Tears For Fears 'The Tipping Point'
Tears For Fears "The Tipping Point."

The first singles for the album besides “No Small Thing,” “The Tipping Point” and “Break The Man” would definitely fit on the group’s previous albums yet are perfect on their new one.

The trippy video for “Break The Man” really adds to its hypnotic beat and also has poignant message.

“ ‘Break The Man’ started with Charlton Pettus, and it’s about a strong female, which is obvious, but it’s really about breaking the patriarchy. I feel that a lot of the problems we’ve been having as a country and even worldwide to a certain degree came from male dominance,” said Smith.

"My Demons" is really different than anything Tears For Fears has done in the past since it's really aggressive but it fits within the overall theme of "The Tipping Point."

We did a lot of work in the early days of this album with Sacha Skarbek, and his programmer Florian Reutter from Germany. They presented us with a backing track and we just went, 'Whoa,' " said Orzabal.

"Then we came up with some crazy lyrics about surveillance and all kinds of stuff. Yes, 'My Demons don’t get out that much' might be a little throwaway as a lyric, but this song is one hell of a noise, and we’re very proud because the synthesizers are SO aggressive here. Like us, 'My Demons' rocks in its own way."

The album ends with "Stay," which is a perfect ending since it's hauntingly inviting and has a great electronic rhythm.

Tears for Fears new album can be purchased online, on iTunes, in stores, or streamed on Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, or Deezer.

They're also embarking on a tour that kicks off May 20th in Cincinnati and includes a June 4th stop at The Forum in Inglewood.