In the early eighties, the British band Tears for Fears, which successfully mixed synthpop with elements of other genres, started a remarkable career that lasted into the early nineties. After that, the career of the duo that makes up the band for all sorts of personal and health reasons, typical relationship of a couple relationship proceeded rather bumpy. It came to the separation and only in 2004 they found themselves more or less well together again. During the long period of separation, fans of Tears and Fears were kept in line by reissues of old albums until finally, after years of labor pains, the new album The Tipping Point of the duo Roland Oszabal and Curt Smith was released now. Richer in good and bad experience, as far as the things of the world are concerned, the duo comes out with its new album in a more detached, sometimes quite serious pace: the tone of the band has become softer and thoughtfulness characterizes the songs in contrast to the incarnation of the band in the early years of its career. The time of broad, radiantly offered anthems, a specialty of Tears for Fears is obviously over. What remains from the past is the duo's undisputed talent for convincingly delivering songs over the ramp. Old fans of the band will be pleased and new fans, fans of the next generation will surely be won over with The Tipping Point.
With its acoustic guitar and Americana folk opening, "No Small Thing" opens the album accompanied by an acoustic guitar rather quietly, only to increase in intensity as the song progresses to an anthemic chorus. The title track tells on the basis of flickering sounds of the ups and downs of life. With "Rivers of Mercy" the album reaches an early climax. Loss is the theme, loss of a loved one as well as loss of previous quality of life. With this song, the album is very close to the reality that currently surrounds us. "Please Be Happy" brings a little sunshine to what was just a gloomy view of the world. With "Master Plan" the duo criticizes the music industry as it is today. Tears for Fears have experienced and suffered a lot in this environment. The song makes that clear. "Break the Man" is an ode to a strong woman who is able to assert herself in the male-dominated world. This song briefly flashes the duo's old ways with a peppy and light tone and lyrics that signal a zest for life. Another highlight of the album proves to be "Stay," a song accompanied only by acoustic guitar that opens a new chapter of sheer simplicity for Tears and Fears and is simply heartbreaking.
The songs on The Tipping Point album are characterized by a natural flow that convincingly portrays consternation and sadness about the here and now, yet holds out hope for better times ahead. The Tipping Point is a strong comeback for Tears and Fear. This album will delight the band's longtime fans despite a change in pace, and will win over new fans.
Roland Oszabal & Curt Smith