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ROLAND ORZABAL'S FIRST SOLO ALBUM,
This review is from: Elemental (Audio CD)
This is the fourth Tears For Fears album, and the first without Curt Smith. In fact, this is Roland Orzabal's first solo album, but for some reason, he decided to keep the name Tears For Fears on release (most likely for marketing reasons).
'Elemental' is the type of album that grows on you after a few listening, and as a package all the songs hold pretty well together, but don't expect anything like the first three albums. A departure from the 'live' feel of 'Sowing the Seeds of Love', Roland returns to drum machines and programming, this time with lyrics that are somewhat obscure in parts and have a 'poetic' quality to them. There are some nice melodies in there but certainly nothing strong enough for commercial radio, which is not necessarily a bad thing since it has given Roland the freedom to experiment more freely without feeling constraint with writing a 'hit'. Having said that, 'Break it Down Again' was a popular tune on alternative radio stations when it first came out, and is more typical of what Tears For Fears purists would expect.
Finally, for fans, listening to 'Fish Out of Water' is somewhat disheartening, since 'Fish' is a reference to Curt Smith, and the whole song is nothing more than a backstabbing session on the former band member. For the record, Curt Smith took his revenge with a song titled 'Words' in his first solo album 'Soul on Board', a personal attack on Roland Orzabal about his delusion of grandeur and philosophical superiority. Good to hear that they've now got back together for a new album 'Everybody Loves a Happy Ending' due in April 2004.