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Raoul and the Kings of Spain

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Album Review

The second Tears for Fears album following Curt Smith's departure finds Roland Orzabal treading water (and self-consciously deep water at that). Long removed from the simple, melodic melancholy of the band's early work and abandoning the mid-period Beatles-influenced pop, Raoul and the Kings of Spain often borders on progressive rock. There's some genuinely pretty music, like the piano-driven ballad "Secrets," with its soaring guitar line, and the gentle "Sketches of Pain."

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Bath, Somerset, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tears for Fears were always more ambitious than the average synth pop group. From the beginning, the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were tackling big subjects — their very name derived from Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, and his theories were evident throughout their debut, The Hurting. Driven by catchy, infectious synth pop, The Hurting became a big hit in their native England, setting the stage for international stardom with their second album, 1985's Songs from the Big Chair....
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Raoul and the Kings of Spain, Tears for Fears
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