|1. The Hurting|
|2. Mad World|
|3. Pale Shelter|
|4. Ideas As Opiates|
|5. Memories Fade|
|6. Suffer The Children|
|7. Watch Me Bleed|
|9. The Prisoner|
|10. Start Of The Breakdown|
|11. Pale Shelter (Long Version)|
|12. The Way You Are (Extended)|
|13. Mad World (World Remix)|
|14. Change (Extended Version)|
Each and every track is a classic in its own way. Here is my review of each and every track:
1) The Hurting: Title track that gives a glimpse of how thoughtful this band actually is. This one track should prove that Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal are people with genuine insight and that by no means are they negative. How about lines such as:
"Get in line with the things you know.
Feel the pain, feel the sorrow
Touch the hurt and don't let go, don't let go
Get in line with the things you know
Lean to cry like a baby
Then the hurting won't come back, they won't come back, won't come back"
The echoing guitars perfectly fit the mood and are a treat for the ears. Both Curt and Roland sing this song.
2) Mad World: Moody and reflective song. The song is not negative. It is about the current situation of people living their lives without any morals or values. It is a call for doing something to improve the terrible situation. The song sounds very much relevant and fresh to this day.
3) Pale Shelter: The song is about the lack of love in the lives of children due to inaccessible parents. Fine blend of acoustics and electronics. The Spanish guitar strumming is amazing!
4) Ideas as Opiates: This song is as good as its title. Slightly difficult to understand when I heard for the first time. From what I perceive, it is about those people who mislead the general public with their opinions and who don't actually care about the good-will of the society. The saxophone work is incredible.
5) Memories Fade: Totally blown off when I heard it for the first time. Incredible keyboard, guitar and saxophone arrangements. You can sense the actual mood from Roland's singing and the lively instrumentation.
6) Suffer the Children: The first song recorded and released by TEARS FOR FEARS. Like Pale Shelter, a very thoughtful song about children who don't get proper attention and love during their growing years. Nice pop song.
7) Watch Me Bleed: According to me, the second most philosophical track of the album. Once again, the song is not negative. Great pop-rock. Wonderful and sensible keyboard/guitar arrangement.
8) Change: Brilliant xylophone playing which goes round and round. Very good song!
9) The Prisoner: The most philosophical song of the entire album. The hammering gothic music perfectly fits the mood. The disturbing sound is a must for this track. It is worth contemplating about this track. How about lines such as:
"Here behind the wall
I feel so small
Feeling and not believing
Here anger is me
Love sets me free
Waiting but not relating"
These are the lines that speak of most of us humans, right? We have so many negative tendencies within us because of which we feel we are in a prison and that we are not really free. Once we realise that, we can try to free ourselves. The song is about all that.
10) Start of the Breakdown: The keyboard and percussion arrangements are simply brilliant because the song perfectly gives rise to the actual feeling of a breakdown situation.
11) The Way You Are: A non-album track, which appears on the remastered CD. Very unusual and up-tempo track. Very odd percussion arrangement, it actually reminds me of a percussion instrument called "Chenda". Artists associated with temples or Kathakali in Kerala, South India, play chendas.
There are also lovely re-mixed versions of "Pale Shelter", "Mad World" and "Change".
That's all, folks. Above all, just as the name suggests, TEARS FOR FEARS is a band with a positive attitude. Their music really cannot be categorised. Most of their records are genuinely good, timeless and relevant. Buy this album, enjoy and feel every moment.
This first collaboration between Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith is full of beautiful music and introspective lyrics. You can't listen to "Pale Shelter", "The Hurting" and "Mad World" without being permeated by Roland's angst. (he penned every song on the album) There's a darkness here that's never been so ably repeated on a subsequent TFF album, and the raw, unrefined talents of these two men is altogether frightening. Although eclipsed by the later commercial success of "Songs from the Big Chair", "Hurting" may indeed be the more ambitious and significant musical statement. I truly believe that were this album released today, it would be every bit as fresh and provocative as it was twenty years ago.
As for the remastering.....if the tempo has indeed been tampered with (which I had not noticed, but will now listen for) than its a criminal act. The bonus remixes of some great songs are always appreciated, but not entirely necessary. The real benefit comes from the added clarity, and being able to hear some subtleties of the recording that were unnoticeable on the older version. All told, "The Hurting" is an album that deserves to be remembered, and here's to hoping the rumored TFF reunion and new album comes to pass.