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Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

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Album Review

More than a decade has passed since Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith parted ways with their soulful and ambitious swansong, Seeds of Love. Orzabal released two records under the Tears for Fears moniker in the mid-'90s, but the band's signature blend of hook-filled anthems and art pop excess seemed destined to reside eternally in the post-new wave graveyard of the '80s. Then came the film Donnie Darko, a left-field cult hit that featured California singer/songwriter Gary Jules' chart-topping (in the U.K. anyway) rendition of the band's 1983 hit, "Mad World." The renewed interest in the group found the boys ready and willing to set aside their differences and give it another go, and the resulting Everybody Loves a Happy Ending capably exhibits why that interest was there in the first place. Tears for Fears have always dabbled in the Beatlesque, but never as blatantly as on the full-peacock flush of the colorful title cut. Like ELO rearranging Paul and Linda McCartney's "Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey," it's the first flag in a sea of red signaling a return to form that many deemed unlikely. "Closest Thing to Heaven" builds off of "Sowing the Seeds of Love"'s blueprints — it even utilizes the mid-track reverse drum fill — without coming off as a carbon copy. This is the closest they have come to crafting a possible hit single in years, and it's a testament to their "still flexing" pop chops that they can meld a bittersweet piano dirge with a sunny '70s soft rock chorus without sounding contrived. "Who Killed Tangerine" continues mining the Beatles vein, juxtaposing each spooky verse against a chorus reminiscent of "Hey Jude." They haven't abandoned the adult contemporary pop that began to creep in post-Smith — "Size of Sorrow" and "Ladybird" are nice and forgettable — but the dark experimental nature of songs like "Quiet Ones" and "Devil" make up for the occasional blandness. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending will do little to convert those who winced at Orzabal and Smith's obtuse lyrics and over the top production the first time around, but loyal followers, fans of XTC's Apple Venus, Pt. 1, and lovers of intricately arranged and artfully executed pop music will find themselves delightfully consumed by another chapter from this enigmatic group.

Customer Reviews

Simply Put

This album makes one wish for the good old days. There's an atmosphere of frivolity, maturity, and just plain fun to this recording. One only wishes for more...

Lemon Cake and The Pit of Despair

As any true TFF fan will tell you, if there is ever any doubt as to whether the music industry today is a dysfunctional entity, one need look no further than this album's release back in 04' as a perfect example. When it was released most critics were amazed that Roland and Curt had not only reformed Tears for Fears after 10 years, but that they had managed to yet again put together an amazing collection of perfectly crafted pop songs that any contemporary artist only wished they had the talent to create. So what happened to ELAHE? It was quietly purchased and enjoyed by TFF fans, but never heard on the radio. Thank God these two talented guys decided to perform live again, and anyone who purchased this fantastic album could hear many of these songs performed live, along with all their hits going all the way back to The Hurting. Go see these guys perform live while you still can, you won't be disappointed, I promise you. And if you're ever in LA, check Curt's website, as he lives there, and between their yearly world tours, you can catch him doing his solo act at various venues, which again, are nothing short of amazing hearing this man's voice live in a small intimate club. Go see them now - talent of this magnitude will be unlikely to come our way again.

extra song

yeah I found a new TFF song I dont have - pullin the cloud - yeah for me
This one of the best albums I have . I still listen to it hope they make one more.


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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