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4.7 out of 5 stars30
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 December 2001
I struggled a bit with this album when I first got it though I did quite like 'Ticket to the World' and 'Low Life'. One night whilst in a more receptive frame of mind I put the CD on, sat back and closed my eyes....the music suddenly came out and slapped me in the face....what a great album! I'd hoped for a Tears For Fears style album along the lines of 'Elemental' but got so much more (not that Elemental still isn't great). 'Low Life' will knock you out your socks, 'Under Ether' will throw you around the room with great force and 'Snowdrop' will slam you back into your socks again. I could go into a blow-by-blow break down of the tracks on this album but I won't; just buy it, find an hour or two to yourself in the dark and listen to it. I can't guarantee you'll take to it immediately but stick with it and all will become clear. You will soon be taking a trip to the Twilight Zone, to a mysterious land called 'Roland Orzabal'....believe me, you will not want to come back.
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on 18 September 2001
I've been searching the internet for at least the last three years for some clue as to when or if this album was to be. Little clues here and there led me to the single "Ticket to the World," and then on to the fact that it would be released under Roland Orzabal instead of Tears For Fears. Finally I went searching and found the official web site giving the release date here in the U.S. I cannot say enough good things about this album. It is a rare thing, what with the huge music industry machine, to find something as individual as this. Roland gives his own spin to current music trends, rather than being a music copycat as so many others are as of late. Turn on the radio and you hear one group after another that have seemingly re-released the same song over and over in a different rearrangement. Listen to this album and you get experimental sounds..some haunting and slower, some fun and upbeat, never a dull moment. I never mind waiting, because with each album, Roland shows me his love of music and not of money. I look for quality, and if anyone reading this feels the same, buy this and spread the word. This album stands on its own and will stand out in the current sea of monotany. Thank you again Roland for this gift of music.
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on 4 July 2013
Tears For Fears fans probably rushed out and bought this album when it was released expecting it to sound like TFF. It doesn't. Roland had been influenced by the drum and bass scene in 2000 and there is a leaning towards a more electronic sound than rock guitars. There are few gems on this album but overall it's a average. Worth a punt for TFF fans or if you can find it at a good price.
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on 9 April 2001
Roland Orzabal returns after a six year hiatus between his last release, Tears For Fears' "Raoul and the Kings of Spain", and "Tomcats Screaming Outside." This new album, although issued under his own name, shares virtually the same lineup as the last two Tears For Fears albums. "Tomcats..." is an impressively eclectic blend of pop, techno, trip-hop, ambience, and rock. I would have to say that if "Tomcats..." were to resemble any particular album in the TFF cannon, it would have to be 1993's "Elemental." Like that album, each track on "Tomcats..." sounds different than the one before it, but also has a certain cohesiveness due to Orzabal's unique hands-on production. Unlike many electronically based albums, the songs are what matter here, not the samples. But this isn't news for anyone who has followed Orzabal through his career - the songs have always been of the penultimate importance to him. "Bullets For Brains" combines a classic Orzabalian melody and lyric with some interesting analogue synths and sonic experiments. "Day By Day By Day By Day By Day" is one of the best songs Orzabal has released in years... the production lends itself perfectly with the moody atmospheres of the melody, and the electronic nature of the arrangement doesn't hinder the song's effects in the slightest. "Hypnoculture" is, in the least, a very interesting sonic risk for Orzabal - combining African chants with a funk-bass and swirling keyboard riff. At best, its completely original, gloriously infectious and hypnotic. "For the Love of Cain" is the most 'pop' song here... one of those instant-classic-sounding pieces full of summer sun that Orzabal is so wonderful at effortlessly creating. Overall, this is a fantastic effort from an artist unduly ignored by the industry - each song here touches a different nerve, and compounds to form an entertaining, engaging listen. But "Tomcats Screaming Outside" proves most of all that Roland Orzabal is still a vital and creative artist, who is not even close to being "dried out" of ideas and inventive things to say. With this album, Roland Orzabal may not have necessarily created the best album of his career, but it is certainly his most enjoyable.
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on 4 April 2001
You are forgiven for suspecting a half baked idea since Roland seems to make it very clear that this is more a collection of sketches and ideas than an album proper. Add to that previous experiences of rockstars indulging in studio technology and mixing breakbeats with heavy guitars (David Bowie anyone?) and you will approach with caution. Surprisingly Roland Orzabal pulls it off and delivers a strong set of eleven great songs and just one filler (Hypnoculture is indeed just a sketch and sounds like a weak Peter Gabriel track). Sonically this album doesn't break any new ground as such and there's the odd analogue synth line where you would think it has to be if you were painting your dance track by numbers but the strength of the vocal melodies and excellent playing make you forget any naff sound immediately. These are well crafted songs with added studio trickery, not just loops for loops sake. Try the slow growing Under Ether or the hymn like For The Love Of Cain for a start and embrace this album. It's rewarding.
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on 7 October 2014
This record is just special; it has been since the first time I listened to it 13 years ago and always will be. Those who know the work of Roland Orzabal will understand what I mean. Those who don't, I hope will discover his catalogue starting just with this one. You are in for a strangely beautiful journey. I just wish these songs (hopefully, the entire album) would see the light of the stage. I'm sure that would be a breathtaking experience for both the artist and the audience. I hope to hear and feel this atmosphere again soon, whether it is the next TFF album or a new solo album.
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on 25 May 2001
Having been a TFF fan since the early/mid 80's, one would think that I would be used to the changing sounds of each album. Perhaps because I love each album completely and separately, I expect the next album to knock my socks off when I first listen to it. Initially I refused to believe the voice on "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" was actually Roland Orzabal. I have since become accustomed to his voice and musical style. Still, "Tomcats Screaming Outside" was a dramatic change for me. It has not the introspective melodrama of "Raoul and the Kings of Spain", nor the Jazzy/Bluesy styles of "Sowing The Seeds Of Love", nor the radio-friendly beats of 1984's "The Big Chair". Still, after listening a few times, Roland's unique style has becaome apparent as I train my ear to hear it. This album is much more current in it's sounds, with Drum and Bass tunes like "Kill Love" and "Hey Andy", and the labeled Ambient "Day By Day (By Day...)". It's difficult to classify this album in a genre, but then that has always been a problem for Tears for Fears and now for Roland.
In Tomcats Screaming Outside, Roland is playing with current musical trends while adapting them into his own unique style. The lush, multi-layered, electronic soundscapes are present even in the "simpler" songs. My first thought upon seeing the track list was that the album would be dark and troubled. After reviewing the last several TFF albums, I just see this as a trend. The music is the key, however I'd love to hear Roland produce some Happy, "Feel-Good" music like "Head Over Heels" again.
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on 3 April 2001
Never the most prolific of artists, Roland Orzabal returns with his first studio album since 1995's Raoul and the King's of Spain. Although released under his own name, drummer Nick D'Virgilio and Alan Griffiths remain from the Tears for Fears era. 'Tomcats' represents a distinct move away from the last album but still holds many classic Orzabal features despite the move towards a more ambient sound. Most tracks on the album still have loads going on in each of them; why keep it simple? The 6 year wait was definately worth it. Ticket to the world is classic TFF with an instantly singalongable hookline. Low Life has more layers to it than something with lots of layers in it? Everything is going on in it. Other stand out tracks are Under Ether, day by day by day by day by day, dandelion and hey andy! although all 12 tracks and 55 minutes are all spot on. Whether your looking for a bit of techno, hip hop, drum & bass, indie rock, classic TFF then this is the album. If record buying public and music media could see past their prejudices towards artists still recording great albums despite coming out of the 80's, then this album and the last 2 Tears For Fears albums would get the recognition they deserve. Anyway, I can only make one simple recommendation, "buy it."
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on 27 July 2001
After a prolonged absence Mr. Orzabal has come back 6 years later with an absolute work of genius; I can't think of a bad track on this album. It is a eclectic blend of synth and power guitar strapped together with complex and funky bass and drums, all overidden with Roland's melodious voice and clever lyrics. Ranging from the almost Goth-Metal 'Dandelion' through the sublime-David Grey-like 'Hey Andy' to my personal favorite, the Ragga-cum-trancey-cum-ecstactic pop of 'Hypnoculture'. This album both inspires and entertains... if you are an ex- TFF fan I think you'll dig it. If you are not and just interested in the wacky (and somewhat pretentious!... sorry Roland) title buy it on impulse and your CD player will love you for the rest of your life. Definitely the best album of 2001
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on 9 February 2002
This absolutely has to be the pinnacle of Roland's endeavors in my opinion. This is my favorite of his works thus far. He takes a new direction with this album, it's more 'techno' than his previous works but the messages are amazing! Each track is unique, full of emotion and magic; it definitely holds your interest to the end. From the inspiring, upbeat pumping rhythms of 'Hey Andy' to the soulful and haunting feel of 'Maybe Our Days Are Numbered', there is something here for everyone.If you want variety with the signature sound and magical lyrics that can only be Roland Orzabal, this one is definitely for you! Put it on replay and sit back for real treat! This man never ceases to amaze me!
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