Steven M. from NORTHVILLE, MI Reviewed on 12/10/2006...
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Roland Goes It Alone
Russell Diederich | Littleton, CO United States | 08/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whatever happened after the amazing "Seeds of Love" release, it looked to be the end of Tears for Fears. Curt Smith left Roland Orzabal to go it alone with the TFF name. Orzabal enlisted the help of Alan Griffiths, and although took a step backward, laid down the groundwork for a great collaboration that would reshape TFF into the last decade of the century. As compared to "Seeds of Love" I'd say that this album is not as good, but it sure is close. With the title track Orzabal let us know that the band is still the same sans Smith, with just a bit of a twist. The song has more of an edge to it than previous TFF stuff, a little heavier sound, but still the same great Orzabal voice. After reaching out a little, Orzabal comes back into a signature sound with "Cold". "Break It Down Again" is a little funky with a Orzabal's staccato lyrics helping to drive the rhythm. The album goes back to being heavy with "Dog's a Best Friend's Dog". The album ends with "Goodnight Song", a great song with Orzabal's voice ringing, and almost bluesy electric guitar. Very recognizable format in today's music scene, a song way before its time. Orzabal is definitely trying out his new wings of freedom. "Elemental" is definitely a transition album. You can hear the change in TFF from "Seeds of Love" to "Raoul, and the Kings of Spain" and on to "Tomcats Screaming Outside". Orzabal picked a good title for this album, as it is the building stone for the second half of his career. It's a good start, and a must own for any Orzabal or TFF fan."
Missing the balance of Curt Smith, but still outstanding
Michael Erisman | Seattle, WA | 03/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tears for Fears were one of the rare pop groups whose music survived the 80's image and still sounds great today. After the classic "Seeds of Love", the duo broke up. Roland Orzabel recorded this follow up without Curt Smith. While the music is missing some of the vocal balance of their previous work, this CD contains one of their best songs: "Break It Down Again". Part of the song lyrics below show the introspection the band is famous for:"It's in the way you're always hiding from the light, See for yourself you have been sitting on a time bomb, No revolution maybe someone somewhere else, Could show you something new about you and your inner song - And all the love and all the love in the world, Won't stop the rain from falling, Waste seeping underground - I want to break it down....Break it down again" The rest of the CD has some great moments as well, and typical of the band, the lyrics and songwriting is well above the meaningless chatter of most pop songs.The title track "Elemental" , and the driving "Dog's a Best Friends Dog" are on par with their previous work, while the smooth and moody "Gas Giants" sounds like an updated "Working Hour" intro. Of particular note is "Fish Out of Water" an obvious slam on his departed band mate.While the music always takes me back to Virginia, and my grad school days, it still sounds up to date as well. A great addition to your collection."
Different but excellent
Guylaine Le Ber | St-Hubert, Qc | 02/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's the Tears for fears's album that I like the most. Maybe because it was not as popular as the other ones and I never get tired since it is not over played."Good night song" is my favorite but every other songs have something special in it. Check out "Brian Wilson song" starting at 1:50 minutes how the music is beautiful.By the way, Tears for fears came back together and just finished a new album that should be out in April 2004. Curtis said, our best album so far. Can't wait to see that."
Better Than Expected.
WILLIE A YOUNG II | Houston, TX. | 04/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I admit that I was quite biased against TFF when this LP was first released, I wanted them to be the same tuneful yet brooding hitmakers they'd been in the 80's. How silly of me! For along time I thought Roland Orzabal and his cohorts couldn't possibly produce anything nearly as brilliant as "The Seeds Of Love", but the joke is on me. This terrific collection of songs is one of their strongest releases ever and a permanent part of my collection. The only real hit here is also the best song, the walloping, epic sweep of "Break It Down Again". This towering track is reason alone to buy this album, for it will lead to the melodic splendor of "Cold", the gorgeous, ambient title track and the lyrical whimsy and lighthearted touch of "Brian Wilson Said" (nice semi-tribute). A very rewarding album that grows on you with repeated listening."
Tears For Fears jams on in this powerful and ethereal album.
WILLIE A YOUNG II | 07/26/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once free of the deadweight that the band carried with them through "Seeds of Love" and "Soul on Board" (Released only in England), Tears for Fears , now comprised of Roland Orzabal (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Alan Griffiths (keyboards, guitar), began producing truly creative music. "Elemental" is the beginning of the New Tears for Fears, and a daring start at that. Its general tone is one of ethereal keyboards and lyrical guitars, in the manner of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." Roland Orzabal has one of the best voices in current rock music, which can be anything from wistful and quiet to deep and powerful, and his compositional skill is no less admirable. Some highlights from the album are "Cold," a guitar-driven song about the desire for solitude, "Fish Out of Water," a scathing attack on former member Curt Smith ("With all your high class friends you think you've got it made / the only thing you made was that tanned look on your face"), and "Goodnight Song," a wistful recollection. Definitely worth the purchase."