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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB RECORD, BUT GROSSLY UNDERRATED
This album is one of the best records ever made. It has been slated by critics over the years, with accusations levelled such as "egotistic", "maudlin" and "self-obsessed".
These claims are unfounded and the average listener should buy this album to see for themselves.
It is an album that needs repeated listening to "break...
Published on 27 Mar 2000

versus
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a return to form....nearly!!!
"the hurting" is one of my favourite albums of all times..from there it all went a bit down hill for me anyway! every album seemed to get a little less accessable.

someone recommended this to me about 5 years ago and its taken me till now to get round to buying it!

4 tracks stand out for me..."sketches" "les reyes catolicos" "humdrum" and "me and my...
Published on 29 Sep 2006 by Mr. Nathan Armstrong


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB RECORD, BUT GROSSLY UNDERRATED, 27 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Raoul & Kings of Spain (Audio CD)
This album is one of the best records ever made. It has been slated by critics over the years, with accusations levelled such as "egotistic", "maudlin" and "self-obsessed".
These claims are unfounded and the average listener should buy this album to see for themselves.
It is an album that needs repeated listening to "break it in". At first listen it is hard to pick up the mood, the result being that it sits on the shelf for months on end (this happened to me). But listen some more and concentrate on the musical diversity and craft (ignore the confused lyrics) and you will experience a delicate and varied album like no other record you have ever heard.
Roland Orzabal has produced some amazingly deep pieces in his time, but his work here is excellent.
The opening track is unusual for its slightly discordant harmony that manages to sound acceptable while never quite becoming likeable. Things improve with "Falling Down" which softens the album's mood. "Secrets" adds emotion to the proceedings with some great guitar work. The album then turns to a more "pop-like" sound with "God's Mistake", a clever track with plenty of musical arrangement to keep the most studious of listeners happy. "Sketches of Pain" adds a spanish feel to the record and initiates a biting and moving string of emotions in the listener to prepare for the second half of the album. "Los Reyes Catalicos" is interesting, but becomes tiresome very quickly.
The second half opens with a mood breaking rocker, "Sorry", another Orzabal "event" that snakes through different keys and tempos before segmenting into "Humdrum and Humble", a more laid-back track but keeping in the mood of the previous song. Then once again, Orzabal takes the mood right down with the gentle song, "I Choose You", following which he moves back into "Rock" mode for the excellent and rousing "Don't Drink The Water".
Closing the album, we are treated to the gentle and moving "Me And My Big Ideas", and experience the re-appearance of Oleta Adams, last seen on "Seeds of Love". A repeat of "Los Reyes Catalicos" closes the album on a downbeat finale.
Overall, a brilliant piece of work. Try it for yourself and I am sure you will agree.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It took a while but I love it, 2 Jun 2004
By 
G. Langridge "monztaman" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this album when it first hit the shops back in '95. I listened to it once, was disappointed and put it away for another day. That day arrived last week nearly nine years on whilst sorting through some old boxes of CDs. I put this disc into my player and hit the play button and was shocked to hear an astoundingly wonderful collection of quality music. Why I struggled with it nine years ago but not now is a mystery to me. Perhaps a little maturity, responsibility marriage and childen has changed me? Who knows? All I know is that RATKOS is, like 'Tomcats Screaming Outside', a superb piece of musical work. Both take some getting used to but then pay back the patient listener in spades. 'Me and my Big Ideas', 'Humdrum and Humble' and 'Sketches of Pain', 'God's Big Mistake' and 'I Choose You' are particularly worthy of mention.
10/10 at least.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Gem in the legacy of TFF, 30 Aug 2009
By 
B. Connor (new York, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raoul And The Kings Of Spain (Audio CD)
Roland (Raul) goes back to his roots!? While this album is sprinkled with a Spanish flavour, pop gems like Gods Mistake and the title track stand out among a coherent and well put together collection. the remastered and expanded issue comes with all the b sides to the singles released and takes this listener back to a time when this established and talented 80's artist was consigned to the naff bin. shame really as the 90's saw many such bands being dismissed when in fact they had honed their skills to an even greater level than in their heyday. however, this is not in the league of their best work, its a great listen if youve got the hit albums and are looking to dig deeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TEARS FOR FEARS GOES TO SPAIN, 1 Mar 2004
By 
This is Tears For Fears's fifth album, which is in fact Roland Orzabal's second solo album after the departure of Curt Smith from the duo since the 'Sowing the Seeds of Love' album.
This album is obviously a very personal one for Roland, who named it after his son Raoul. The album has a strong 'Spanish' flavor to it, basically Roland's search into his heritage - his mother was Spanish, and here Roland discovers flamenco in some of the tracks and makes extensive use of unplugged guitars. A departure from 'Elemental' with more 'real instruments' and less programming, 'Raoul and the Kings of Spain' is musically accomplished, but somewhat lacks depth in the lyrics department, mostly because of its philosophical nature, which is somewhat not always accessible to all listeners. The track 'Secrets' starts off like an Elton John pastiche and then takes on a life of its own, making it one of the most powerful song on the album. An interesting and accomplished album if you're a Tears For Fears fan or someone who's not really into mainstream music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Album, 10 July 2006
By 
Baggie Dave (Kingswinford UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raoul & Kings of Spain (Audio CD)
First and foremost I must thank the people who have written reviews on this album. It was because of your recommendations that I went out and purchased it. I am no musical expert but as someone else said " I know what I like". This album gets better the more you listen to it. If you judge this album the first time of hearing you may be disappointed....Give it chance it is worth it. It compares favourably with any other TFF and I can only endorse what all the other good reviews say on this album....so buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roland... King Of The World!, 12 Jan 2010
By 
E. Van Genderen "dubbletrubble" (Hatfield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raoul And The Kings Of Spain (Audio CD)
If you thought the light had gone out on Tears For Fears after their fairly acrimonious split shortly after Seeds Of Love then you'd be very much mistaken.

Maybe Roland struggled a little with Elemental (his first post-Curt release) but any doubts that might have surfaced with that release were erased totally with this absolute masterpiece. Drawing from many very personal experiences, Roland has given us an album that uplifts, inspires and entertains with every beat. The title track is majestic, God's Mistake is incredible, I Choose You is so moving, and Me And My Big Ideas (featuring the return of Oleta Adams) is just sublime.

Tears For Fears have given us some of the greatest albums and music from the 80's and this album is every bit as good - if not better! Just because it didn't sell by the bucketload when first released doesn't mean it is a poor album. It is one of their finest yet!

Buy it..... Buy it NOW!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry for not getting this gem of an album earlier, 25 Feb 2006
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I am one of Tears For Fears and Roland Orzabel's biggest fans.I am also honest and thought that after 'The Hurting', 'Songs From The Big Chair', and 'The seeds of love' (Three albums that i spent hours and hours listening to) i thought Roland's song writing and music were begining to wind down rather than pick up pace. Like Simon Cowell often says, "I'm sorry, i was wrong".
This album is superb, and i had a chance to hear the first 30 seconds of each song on HMV.co.uk, which i would advise to Amazon fans who don't want to buy a bum album.
You can feel the quality by listening to the first two or three songs. Secrets(track 3)is awesome, we are talking hairs on the back of your neck standing on end and it sits in the league of 'Angels' by Robbie Williams. As you progress through the album the quality doesn't diminish 'Me and My Big Ideas', sees Oleta Adams make a welcome return and the harmony between voices is as strong as ever. Other songs worth a mention, 'Sorry', 'Humdrum and humble', 'Falling Down' and the title track,'Raoul and the Kings of Spain'.
PS this album is considerably better than 'Tom Cats Screaming
Outside', in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just pure good music!, 10 Oct 2007
By 
Mr. Miles E. Hider "MilesH" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I have had this cd since '95, and have played it through the years since, and I must honestly say that I am never bored of it, there are no fillers on this one!, the whole cd is just so well written and is a musical treat. Each song is different and I don't want to name just one because they are all good. It's now 12 years on since it first came out but I still love it and would not lend it to anyone but my closest mates, that's how much I rate it. I'm no music critic just a good music lover, please try it, and get 'Elemental' too, another great record!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truely hidden gem, 31 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. AP ROWLEY (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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Was a big fan of Tears for Fears back in the 80's and 90's but missed this album as I was into american house music in a big way.
Now as my musical tastes have matured, I dont listen to what I heard on the the last Saturday night out, I am coming back to the bands I loved then. Street Fighting Years by Simple Minds being a prime example.
The amazon reviews have helped with my purchase.
This album is fantastic, the song writing and, as the other reviewers have stated, the more you listen then more you are drawn in. It has a real depth to it and the productiion and arrnagements are very tight.
The first three songs are superb, love Falling Down and Secrets. The album then takes a different tact, with a few low key numbers again great to drive to or chill with, espcially with a couple of toddlers in the car.
Oletta Adams makes a welcome return for a very emotional song.
I cannot recommend this album enough, if you were a fan back then and missed it, it does stand the test of time and if released today would sell very well.
Wonder how many more hidden gems are out there I missed, thanks Amazon reviewers!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pristine Production!, 9 May 2006
By 
C. O'toole "bigcon" (co. down N ireland) - See all my reviews
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I have always admired the work of Tears for Fears, especially the excellent 1989 "Seeds of love" album and Roland Orzabel always struck me as a genius in pop terms. I first came across this album in Q or MOJO magazine back in the autumn of '95 and remarked what a ridiculous title it had and subconsciously decided to avoid it as tosh. Thanks to curiosity and the positive reviews of the kind folk at amazon.co.uk, I was acquainted with the album when the title exploded into my head at work for some reason.

The opening strumming of the title track assured me that this was a grower, a well structured riff bursting with instruments and clear production. "Falling Down" the second track is a grower based around a languid guitar riff and the third track "secrets" is a jaw dropping classic(I kid you not!) an excellent melody, tasteful key changes and a soaring classical strings section, this is the sort of song that pop idols should be covering." God's Mistake" is AOR with a catchy riff and infectious chorus and the beautiful "secrets of pain" is a Peter Gabriel world music type track which bursts into a flamenco guitar/castanets interlude befitting the album's Iberian theme.

The album is like a sumptuous feast for the ears like a concept album in some ways although songs are very strong individually. Some of the later tracks are banal 80s rockish type things but they do sort of grow on you. Orzabel is assisted in this project by excellent sessionersincluding Gail-Ann Dorsey of David Bowie's band on bass. Unfortunately Curt whatsisface is nowhere to be seen.

In short an epic, melodious well produced album which grows on you at different rates. I don't remember that it ever shifted that many copies but if there was justice in the world then this album would have a much higher profile. On the plus front, the lucky few that have it have discovered a rare gem indeed! Long live the King (and Raoul for that matter1)
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Raoul And The Kings Of Spain
Raoul And The Kings Of Spain by Tears For Fears (Audio CD - 2009)
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