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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Road To Resurrection
And so they returned to us at last. Firstly, lets put the cynical and lazy critics straight on the facts - Tears For Fears did NOT reform after the success of Gary Jules' version of "Mad World" in 2003. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith had decided to end their decade-long feud ("the biggest sulk of all time") and buried the hatchet back in 2000 when they began writing and...
Published on 6 July 2006 by Stevie M.

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good music... bad over compressed record
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending is nice collection of Beatles influenced sounds but without loosing the TFF's soul. I won't get into details about the songs because there are enough good reviews here to give an idea of the music's quality.
What I want to discuss here is the fact that this record is compressed as hell, sadly becoming another casualty in the loudness...
Published on 5 April 2011 by Christian Schreier


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Road To Resurrection, 6 July 2006
By 
Stevie M. (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
And so they returned to us at last. Firstly, lets put the cynical and lazy critics straight on the facts - Tears For Fears did NOT reform after the success of Gary Jules' version of "Mad World" in 2003. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith had decided to end their decade-long feud ("the biggest sulk of all time") and buried the hatchet back in 2000 when they began writing and recording new material on a transatlantic basis (Smith lives in the US, Orzabal still lives in the UK). The album took over two years to complete and its release was then delayed further due to record company entanglements. Eventually they secured a UK deal with the small independent label Gut Records, but with no major label behind them to wave the corporate magic wand and place their opening single "Closest Thing To Heaven" into the top ten, the release of both single and album became a somewhat muted event with little publicity or fanfare. In all fairness, TFF themselves neglected to put much effort into promotion during the UK release in early 2005 other than a video, a couple of minor television appearances and only a week of live concert dates. They spent far longer promoting the album in the US (released six months earlier), no doubt hoping to replicate the huge success they'd first enjoyed there some twenty years before. Their efforts were in vain this time around though, and perhaps this tired them out by the time they eventually began promotion in the UK. The choice of single to be released here first was also perhaps not the wisest, and even though "Closest Thing To Heaven" is mostly a great song, it does have a weak chorus and isn't the best primer for the album. The album's title track is better and was released as the second single along with the flowery "Call Me Mellow", but this was virtually impossible to find in any shops. However, there are other tracks on this album that simply scream "hit single", such as "Who Killed Tangerine" and the lush, orchestral "Secret World".

Despite very minor flaws, the album as a whole is magnificent, neither desperate to imitate the sound of 1985's "Songs From The Big Chair" (their biggest success) nor opting for the complicated, less commercial arrangements of 1989's epic "The Seeds Of Love". In fact "Everybody Loves A Happy Ending" is a completely surprising album, and yet it is the kind of album TFF might have made in the early 1990s had they stayed together - still awash with Beatles references but more so now to ELO, XTC, Bacharach, and even a splash of Leonard Cohen. They're overplaying the pastiche gimmick in places, although bands like Oasis have made an entire career out of being little more than a pastiche act - whereas TFF have already long since proven their distinction. But nobody would ever guess that this is the same band who made "The Hurting" back in 1983 - and for a band that are best remembered for possessing a dark and gloomy quality, this is an astonishingly mellow album. The touches of drama are still there though, and "Killing With Kindness", "Quiet Ones", and the melancholic "Ladybird" (my three personal favourites) will probably satisfy fans of that harder, darker side of Roland Orzabal's songwriting ability. However, the album is generally more upbeat and is "classic" sounding rather than experimental or obscure. Though the songwriting still comes mainly from Orzabal, there's reasonable input from Smith - never known for his songwriting abilities in the past - who is credited here as co-writer on most tracks including a "solo" track from his non-TFF projects which actually isn't bad (and a vast improvement on his awful 1993 solo album "Soul On Board"). Even the album's finale takes a different turn than usual, as most TFF albums tend to end on a climactic or sombre note. "Last Days On Earth" may sound like it's going to be a doom-laden ending, but is actually amazingly breezy and refreshing, bringing the album to a fulfilling close. The UK release then has two extra tracks ("Pullin' A Cloud" and "Out Of Control"), which are neither bad nor brilliant, and intended as B-sides that were never used.

Since their heyday, TFF have been far more influential on more recent bands than most people realise, and undeniably with current worldwide favourites Coldplay. Perhaps if TFF had made something along the lines of Coldplay's "Speed Of Sound" in 2005 (which has TFF written all over it), then they would have been the comeback heroes of the decade. Then again, even the finest record can fail to make an impact without a large, dedicated record company behind it....though perhaps too much emphasis is placed on chart success which most people mistake for artistic success. In an age where the singles chart is a completely manufactured joke, and albums tend to sell on the basis of whoever is flavour of the month with the pompous overrated monkeys at Q Magazine, commercial chart success is often just a symbol of an intensive marketing campaign (hype) and has little to do with the quality of the music itself.

As nicely put as it is, the title of the album certainly has an air of finality to it....almost implying "we've grown up, we've made up, and now the show's over". Perhaps TFF truly have worked through all of the angst and issues that made them famous in their twenties and bitter enemies in their thirties, and are now more mellow as they mature into middle age. Even so, I can only hope that Orzabal and Smith will not be put off by this album's relatively muted reception as it genuinely was one of the hidden gems of 2005. Hopefully they will see this as a mere stepping stone to producing even greater work together in the future. I think that would make the eventual ending even happier.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a long walk home, 4 Dec 2004
By 
P. Cottom "petercottom" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
From the opening bars of "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" this is pure TFF - and that's got to be a good thing. It's there, building on the sound that grew from "Songs from the Big Chair" through the temperamentally-challenged "Sowing the Seeds", a regretfully overlooked album that contained some great songs - give it another listen and see!
This new collection is full of musical references, passionately crafted songs, infectious hooks and bears the mark of that instantly recognisable TFF production and attention to detail which, ok, can border on the obsessive, but that's surely no bad thing when it results in a product as beautiful as this.
Listening to it is an experience for the head, the feet and the soul, and heaps rewards on the listener with each play. Tears For Fears don't make instantly disposable music, and there's the rub: where is it going to get played, where are you going to get to hear it?
"Closest Thing to Heaven" - as glorious a chunk of joyous intelligent pop-type stuff as you're ever likely to hear - and "Secret World" are obvious singles, but I can't see them getting on those ridiculous radio playlists. More's the pity, and it's a sad indictment of the state of our music business, because we need bands like TFF to keep the integrity in British rock music alive.We should be able to see an artist grow and develop, not get their 15 minutes of chart success then get dropped because they didn't enter the charts top 3 with a bullet. The ever growing roster of artists unable to get a contract is disturbing, to say the least.
The tragic thing is that this enjoyable and totally rewarding album could be ignored when it should be gracing each and every discerning music lover's collection. Just do yourself a big favour, go out and grab a copy - and play it to your friends/ relatives/ pets........you'll never be lonely again!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not yet the happy ending the band deserve, 6 April 2005
By 
M. C. Slade "BathRugby" (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's difficult to describe how I feel about this LP - the band's first together since the much-publicised divorce in 1992. I can however say with all certainty that this is most certainly their best offering to-date. It's never been out of my in-car CD player in all honesty, and justifyably so. Once you get around the plethora of cliches in the opening and title track it's actually a good if rather eclectic song in the mould of 'Sowing the seeds of love', peppered with Beatlesque references. My early favourite- the first single 'Closest thing to Heaven' has now made way in my affections for deeper, more lyrical songs such as the divine 'Size of sorrow' and the tuneful 'Secret World'. 'Who killed Tangerine' is pure 'Abbey Road', and 'The Devil' has a menacing title and a deep, mournful tone to it. 'Killing with kindness' is anthemic and should certainly reap a huge hit single as well as being a likely accompaniment to TV adverts and sports events with its catchy chorus. 'Ladybird' has a more retro feel to it and sounds like a lost track from 1985's 'Songs from the big chair'. The truth is every one's a little gem in its own right. MISS THIS ALBUM AT YOUR PERIL.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOSTALGIC CURIOUSITY HAS ITS REWARDS, 9 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Well I have to say that I am well impressed. Whether Roland and Curt's decision to patch up their differences and reform was fuelled by a wish to cash in on the fresh interest in their back catalogue, generated by Michael Andrew's cover of Mad World scaling the heights of Xmas number 1 in 2003, is neither here or there. For what they have contrived here is one of the most melodic and lyrically thought provoking collection of songs you will hear in many a year. The influences of Brian Wilson, The Beatles and Peter Gabriel are perhaps unsurprising, yet definately integral. The echoes of 10CC, A.R.Kane and XTC's Apple Venus volumes are certainly more unexpected, but no less welcome. There is even a hint of classic RnB about the sublime 'Last Days On Earth'. Importantly though, the biggest influence of all is Tears For Fears, both circa and post Curt. Seeds Of Love meets Elemental meets Raoul And The Kings Of Spain. One intriguing, classy and highly listenable trybrid.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What The World Needs Now . . ., 29 Sep 2004
By A Customer
One word - WOW! 'Tears for Fears' release their first album as a duo proper for about 15 years, and it is an absolute winner. This album is dripping in 60's references, without the pretensions and over experimentation that did somewhat bring down 'The Seeds of Love' . . Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys - it's all there, not just in style, but in the credible songwriting as well. The songs are once again the core here, and there are many a hit single on this long player if the marketing 'gurus' get off their chuffs and do their jobs. 'Closest Thing to Heaven' is the hit single that should be used to launch this long player in the UK; Standout tracks? Try all 12 on or size - from the beautiful 'Size of Sorrow' and 'Last Day', the haunting 'Tangerine', The Beatles drenched 'Who You Are', and my favourite - 'Secret World'. Do yourself and your friends a favour - spread the message - this little treasure needs to be found.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What The World needs Now . . ., 29 Sep 2004
By A Customer
One word - WOW! 'Tears for Fears' release their first album as a duo proper for about 15 years, and it is an absolute winner. This album is dripping in 60's references, without the pretensions and over experimentation that did somewhat bring down 'The Seeds of Love' . . Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys - it's all there, not just in style, but in the credible songwriting as well. The songs are once again the core here, and there are many a hit single on this long player if the marketing 'gurus' get off their chuffs and do their jobs. 'Closest Thing to Heaven' is the hit single that should be used to launch this long player in the UK; Standout tracks? Try all 12 on or size - from the beautiful 'Size of Sorrow' and 'Last Day', the haunting 'Tangerine', The Beatles drenched 'Who You Are', and my favourite - 'Secret World'. Do yourself and your friends a favour - spread the message - this little treasure needs to be found.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to their best, without a doubt., 12 Oct 2005
By A Customer
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If TFF had written this outstanding album 12 months after Songs from the Big Chair we would have seen a string of top 10 hits and now be watching the video's of the then young duo on MTV now. This a shame for the fickle music industry and the fans that have walked away and forgotten that the mates from Bath, England are back and are as good as ever.
So why hasn't this album sold in bucket loads in this country, remember that teenagers decide the top 40 and Roland and curt are now in their 40's. If i'm honest you have to wait until 12 songs have passed until you find a weak example of their work and these are only bonus tracks.
I'm not going to analise every track, i am sure you can do that when you get your own copy. If you're a true fan it will knock you of your feet, brilliant.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm very "HAPPY" with it!!, 14 May 2004
By 
R. J Swartz (Orlando FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Thank goodness someone posted a pre-release of this album back in March, because its April release has been delayed in the US. So, I've been listening to ELAHE for months now and I absolutely love it!! It's got a little bit of everything - great pop songs, edgier stuff and songs that fall somewhere in between. I really think "Who You Are" could be the next "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (if given the chance). It has that same catchy and smooth sound, like "Everbody". Other standouts are "Quiet Ones", "The Devil", "Secret World", "Killing With Kindness" and "Last Days On Earth". ELAHE may resemble TSOL from the opening tracks, but by the third song it takes on its own identity. Pure bliss. Enjoy. (Oh, and release the thing soon, Arista!!!).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the first review I've placed on Amazon..., 4 Sep 2005
By A Customer
... but I felt compelled to say something about this brilliant album.
As a Tears for Fears fan since my teens, I bought it as a matter of course, and on first hearing thought it was ok, if a bit derivative.
By the third listen I was hooked. I can't remember the last time I heard a body of songs as melodic, imaginative and varied - even now I've owned it for four months, I play it over and over and spot something new every time.
This deserves to be a massive hit - very highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good music... bad over compressed record, 5 April 2011
By 
Christian Schreier (Zürich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending is nice collection of Beatles influenced sounds but without loosing the TFF's soul. I won't get into details about the songs because there are enough good reviews here to give an idea of the music's quality.
What I want to discuss here is the fact that this record is compressed as hell, sadly becoming another casualty in the loudness war. This record has so much going on musically you would suppose it would be a joy ride in dynamic range, but no... this record has as much dynamic range as Metallica's Death Magnetic! Incredible ha?!! But that's the sad truth, not only it's over compressed, there is distortion all over the place. I can't believe experienced musicians as Orzabal and Smith let something so precious as their music get into the hands of commercially minded audio engineers for mastering. It's not like they'd be competing for radio space with Beyonce or The Black Eyed Peas for crying out loud.
Anyhow if you have no idea of what I am talking about please research a bit about the loudness war, you would be surprised what you have been missing in recent music releases and why vinyl is still preferred by music aficionados.
Four stars for the music, zero stars for the audio quality.
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