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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Am I a Tears of Fears fan? I heard the singles which were good and enjoyable, but I can tell you that after hearing this fantastic record I am a FAN of Tears for Fears.
The Beatlesque arrangements mixing great vocal harmonies, cutting the songs in mini-pieces of music and then putting them together in such a cohesive way! This is a joy to listen to.
You will even hear sounds from King Crimson and Pink Floyd mixed-up with powerful and melodic pop oriented choruses!
And... if you open your ears, you will have a bit soul too.
Not a single song on the record isn't good, what could be better?
Let the Music Play!
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on 6 July 2006
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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on 9 March 2005
I must confess, I have now 2 copies of this album -the US one and the UK release with the 2 extra bonus tracks. This album, without exaggeration, is one of the best Iv`e ever heard, Killing with Kindness, Ladybird and Closest thing to Heaven being my personal favourites-with the other songs also sublime. Out of Control(one of the bonus UK songs)also sounds brilliant. Do you remember Tears for Fears with both Roland Orzabal & Curt Smith at the Helm? - they are now back together again for Everybody Loves A Happy Ending, and they sound even better than before.
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on 5 April 2011
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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on 31 March 2006
Much water has run under the bridge of the music industry since the 'The Seeds of Love' time. Indeed, much water since the advent of the Rock & Pop scene in the music universe; a scene that, truth be told, has only provided this universe with 10%... maybe 5% of something that could rightfully rank as music properly speaking. Well, this album does just that, contribute to this percentage thus keeping the MUSIC, not the music industry, alive. Congratulations to Roland and Curt for this brilliant, rare, shall we say, scintillating album and many, many thanks for the music.
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on 7 October 2006
I can only agree with all the other reviews of this album it is wonderful. I own everything TFF have produced and this is right up there with the classic 'Songs From The Big Chair' and had it been released after the 'Seeds' album it would have won worldwide acclaim. 'Who killed Tangerine' is a track that has John Lennon written all over it and it is my personal favourite. It's so good I cannot wait for the next studio album release. Finally, if you like TFF you will love this and this is testimony to the fact that these two guys are better together than apart.
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Am I a fan of Tears of Fears? I heard the singles which were good and enjoyable, but I can tell you that after hearing this fantastic record I am a fan of Tears for Fears.
The Beatlesque arrangements mixing great vocal harmonies, cutting the songs in mini-pieces of music and then putting them together in such a cohesive way! This is joy to listen to.
You will even hear sounds from King Crimson and Pink Floyd mixed-up with powerful and melodic pop oriented choruses!
And... if you open your ears, you will have a bit soul too.
Not a single song on the record isn't good, what could be better?. I would also recommend to buy the UK version w/two extra songs!
Let the Music Play!
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on 4 September 2005
... 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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on 1 May 2004
Wow, what a comeback. Not recorded together for 14 years (approx)and then deliver their finest album. Highlights are many, with "Call Me Mellow" probably shading it. The only track I'm not keen on is "The Devil". My current favourite is "Secret World" (my choice changes depending on mood) and I must mention "Last Days On Earth", which is quite simply georgous. I hope this album gets the coverage it deserves, but after such a long gap,is the audience still there? Q magazine gave it a miserly 2 stars, which is totally out of order, and based not on the music, but on their long standing resentment towards what is one of the finest bands produced by this country.
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on 28 October 2004
Track by track review
1. Sung by Roland and sounding like an old Graduate song. (10 out of 10)
2. First single carrying on from Sowing the seeds of love era. (9 out of 10)
3. Very catchy with Curt helping on the chorus. (7 out of 10)
4. Curt singing a chill out song. (6out of 10)
5. A very powerful song with a complete new sound for TFF. (8 out of 10)
6. Song that incorporates both solo careers. (8 out of 10)
7. Written and sung by Curt. A potential single. (8 out of 10)
8. Piano led balled with heavy ending. (7 out of 10)
9. Full orchestra driven song with them back to there best. (10 out of ten 10)
10. A complete mixture of a song with all the sounds of TFF. (7 out of 10)
11. A Song that could easily have been recorded by Wings. (7 out of 10)
12. Kicking Bass line from Curt. Quality end to an EXCELLENT comeback album. (9 out of 10)
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