Some forty years into one of music’s most impactful, sometimes tense and yet curiously enduring partnerships, Tears For Fears have finally arrived together at The Tipping Point – the group’s ambitious, accomplished and surprising first new studio album in nearly two decades.
Yes, somehow it has been 17 years since the beloved duo released Everybody Loves a Happy Ending in 2004. Yet Tears For Fears has hardly been absent from the road, from our airwaves or from our hearts and minds here in the 21st Century. To the surprise of many – very much including themselves – they have actually become late-blooming road warriors playing arenas, stadiums and festivals in winning form with a new and improved band. Their recordings have been sampled by everyone from The Weeknd to David Guetta to Kanye West and covered by artists ranging from Lorde to Adam Lambert to Disturbed. The timeless, widescreen songs of Tears For Fears have also appeared in many films including Donnie Darko and Straight Outta Compton to name just a few, and the group now find themselves frequently name-checked by numerous younger bands as a classic influence.
And now, at very long last, Tears For Fears find themselves back in peak form at The Tipping Point, an inspired song cycle that speaks powerfully and artfully to our present tense here in 2021. This is an album that vividly recalls the depth and emotional force of the group’s earliest triumphs. Imagine a far more outward-looking take on TFF’s famously introspective 1983 debut album The Hurting set in an even more mad world, or 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair bravely confronting even bigger issues in our increasingly unruly world. Or even 1989’s The Seeds Of Love that sows a mix of love and other emotions
So how exactly did Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith – the two childhood friends from Bath, England, at the heart of this global success story -- take so long to make this musical journey from their Happy Ending to The Tipping Point? To hear them both tell it now, The Tipping Point took a rather long, bumpy and sometimes painful path to get to a much better and far more intriguing place.