1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Farewell To the 1980's
A classic pop swan-song to the 1980's, this masterful and well-crafted piece of pop genius still resonates with me today. The music of the 80's is constantly trashed by today's musical "know-it-all's" as being too bland, faceless, and overly-produced. It's all a joke to them. My argument would be simply be, what is wrong with listening to music that has...
Published on March 9 2004 by R. Carpenter
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe they were trying too hard?
It has become pretty well known that Roland Orzabal, the guiding light behing TFF has had a tendency to be a little too much of a perfectionist. Let me start off by saying that the title cut is probably the most fantastic sonic adventure I have ever experienced (although its sound is very Beatlesque Sgt. Pepper period it is original on its own and a true masterpiece). The...
Published on Oct. 1 2001 by Carl Mack
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Farewell To the 1980's,
A classic pop swan-song to the 1980's, this masterful and well-crafted piece of pop genius still resonates with me today. The music of the 80's is constantly trashed by today's musical "know-it-all's" as being too bland, faceless, and overly-produced. It's all a joke to them. My argument would be simply be, what is wrong with listening to music that has multiple layers and multiple production values? The Beach Boys did it with "Pet Sounds" in 1966, and the greatest albums from the Fab Four were all production milestones.
The 1980's were filled with great music, and many of the best groups from England were able to produce that smoky, languid, shimmering, late-at-night sounding British pop that still sounds fresh to me today. Check out Thomas Dolby's "The Flat Earth," the Blue Nile's "Walk Across Rooftops" and "Hats," Nick Heyward's "I Love You Avenue," Prefab Sprout's "Two Wheels Good," and countless others by artists such as Alphaville, Deacon Blue, and others.
"Seeds of Love" is THE definitive masterpiece of the 1980's, a devastatingly beautiful album of pop gems that was a fabulous goodbye to the decade. Every song on the CD is almost like a mini-suite in itself; there is not one even remotely unsure moment on this one, but the highlights would have to be the achingly beautiful "Swords And Knives" and the astonishing "Advice For the Young At Heart." Listen to this album on a beautiful morning with your windows down, or late at night with the moon as your only source of shadows....I predict that you will fall in love with it over and over as I have.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever recorded?,
While this CD was recorded over 14 years ago the music resonates as powerfully today, perhaps even more than when it was released as it was a bit ahead of its time. In fact, the songs here seem to fit as easily into the 60's/70's rock and roll era of Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin as they would into the 80's pop scene or the darker moods of the 90's era. This re-released version has four extra tracks that are worth the effort.
Truly representing a wide range of styles starting with the smooth ballad "Woman in Chains" featuring the soulful voice of Oleta Adams. The highlights are the following two tracks: "Badman's Song", a bluesy jazz number and "Sowing the Seeds of Love" the hit single inspired by the Beatles better work. The track "Year of the Knife" is a powerful rock and roll song. "Famous Last Words" and "Advice for the Young At Heart" round out the single releases. Both are great songs.
The extra tracks include a jazz instrumental, and a couple of unique blends of late 80's pop, including a rap version with the "Sowing the Seeds" lyrics called "Johnny Panic".
I have to say this is among my favorite recordings ever. From the deep lyrics to the wide range of musical styles, the CD has no weak spots for me. If all you know of Tears for Fears are top 40 pop hits, then try this one out. One of the best CDs from any era.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic,
SOL has been one of my all time favorite albums even until today and I guess this says a lot about the band. There has not been another album quite as superb as this (if anyone has found one please let me know) and it certainly puts the band high up in my list of favorite albums of the 20th century.
Roland Orzabal is definitely the genius here and it is sad that he has not been able to repeat this astounding feat in the later years. The techniques employed in this album are so superb and the layers of orchestration are so amazing and bordering on opulence, it is not surprising that this is one album that will beg for your attention on your first and subsequent listening.
The first single "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" immediately brought in rave reviews and favorable comparisons to the Fab Four. But it is the other songs that are real gems. Oleta Adams with her soulful and endearing vocals opens the album with gusto in "Woman In Chains". This is then followed by what I believe is one of the most accomplished song ever written in pop history - "The Badman's Song" - just listen and marvel at its most intricately wound verses of vocals and instrumentations! Simply heavenly!
"Advice for the young at heart" features the excellent voice of Curt Smith to the fore and this one well written song which truly deserve to linger forever in our memories of sweet love songs that will never be overplayed till death. "Year Of The Knife" will certainly put all other rock bands in their respective lower rungs and "Famous Last Words" definitely places Orzabal among the most respected songwriters of the century.
The rest of the songs do not dissapoint either and they all feature the same impeccable vocals and mesmerizing instrumentations that somehow manages to blend themselves into one unholy union of incredible tunes.
Credits have to be given to the producers, technicians and guest artistes too but I really believe Roland is the dude here. He deserves all the applause and you definitely deserve to listen to this album even if this is one last rock album you will ever buy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears For Fears Best,
Tears For Fears created some of the best popular music of the 1980s. With each new release, TFF explored new musical territory, always redefining what Tears For Fears should sound like. For my money, Roland and Curt never sounded better than they do here on The Seeds of Love.
Songs From the Big Chair was their commercial peak, but one listen to The Seeds of Love and you'll see why so many believe this was their artistic high mark. Accompanied by a stellar cast of musicians, the synthesizer driven sound of previous TFF releases takes a back seat to some truly inspired playing. Turn up track two, Badman's Song, and see if you're not blown away by the jazzy intro and vocals that quietly simmer...building and building...until an emotional, full-throttle release at song's end that will have you ready to testify. This song must have been amazing in concert.
Other highlights include the beautiful single "Woman in Chains" (with the amazing Oleta Adams on vocals), the peppy rock of "Year of the Knife," and the Beatle's homage "Sowing the Seeds of Love." This disc also has "Advice for the Young at Heart," the band's most overlooked single. Why this wasn't a Top Ten hit I'll never know. I agree with others who say this song practically moves them to tears. The vocal delivery on the chorus (Advice for the young at heart / soon we will be older / when we gonna make it work?) still gets to me everytime I hear it.
If you have one of TFF's greatest hits compilations, I'd recommend The Seeds of Love as your next purchase. The sound on the remastered version is phenomenal and the addition of four strong bonus tracks seals the deal.
5.0 out of 5 stars The ever growing tree of life,
Tears For Fears took a daring new turn in their sound with this one and realyy pulled it off. While the Big Chair was a heavily synth laden record this one fuses blues, jazz, rock, and soul to create the most colorful masterpiece I,ve ever heard. There hasen't been a better moment in music than late 1989. This edition I,m reviewing is the remastered with four bonus tracks.
Heres my review for each song starting with the first eight tracks...
Woman In Chains is a breathtaking power ballad with Oleta Adams on guest vocals. Her voice is unbelievable. This is one of the most soul grabbing song TFF have ever done. Badmans Song is a rock Blues driven song with lots of hammond organs with cool drums and Oleta Adams as guest vocal. This song is eight minutes and a half minutes long. Sowing The Seeds Of Love is similar to Badmans Song but more pop sounding than the previous one. It has cool trumpets laced with cool guiters. Unfortunately this is the only song to feature Curt Smiths excellent voice on this entire record. This was the big hit off this album. Advice For The Young At Heart is my favorite song on this CD. It is a very soul driven song with very powerful lyrics that will grab your soul. The ambient rock bridge in the middle is breathtaking. I almost cried with joy listening to this song. I love the echoing piano at the ending. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World is a haunting song with some Arab horns at the biginning and ambient organs. It becomes an almost gospel like song in the middle. The last minute features harmonica playing. The song speed up in the last 20 seconds and the fades out. Sword And Knives is a cool song with blips at the biginnings and ending. It then becomes a jazzy rock song and then becomes a hard driven rock song at the middle. Year Of The Knife is a great song with fast paced drums and rocking guitars. It begins with a crowd cheering. This song is great. Famous Last Words is a beautiful song that begins with a siren and piano for the first minute and a half. It then becomes an orchestra sounding song for the next minute. At 2:24 it blows up to become a power ballad with breathtaking lyrics that will reach your soul. It then slows back down and the siren sound effects kick back then fades out. This is a great closer to the orgininal version of this album.
And now on to the bonus tracks.......
Tears Roll Down is the primitive version of Laid So Low from the 1992 Greatest Hits but darker and less rock sounding. It builds up over the first two minutes with chanting and triangle sound clicks. It then blows up to become an ambient rock sounding song for about thirty seconds and then quiets back down and fades out. Always In The Past is a fast paced song that could,ve made it one this album. It has horns playing throughout the song. I love the ambient rock bridge in the middle of the song. Music For Tables is a smooth jazz instrumental. It's very nice and laid back and doesn't appear on the Saturnine Martial Lunatic CD. Johnny Panic & The Bible Of Dreams is a song that has the chord structure of Shout but with hip-hop beats and the lyrics of Sowing The Seeds Of Love sung is a rap chorus in a great way. This version is more edgy and less DJ oriented than the version on the Saturnine Martial Lunatic CD. A cool closer to this masterpiece.
This is the best pop album I,ve ever heard in my life. It's the fun music that I miss so much in music these days. But whatever the future brings in music this album will definately hold up to the tests of time. In fact it doesn't sound dated at all and sounds more up to date than any of the antiquated rap/r&b garbage on the radio these days. Go and buy this CD. It's worth the price you'd pay.
Over and Out...
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand Finale -- Too Bad They Split Up,
Though nothing can beat William Gregory's beautiful Sax solos on TFF's "The Working Hour" (from the album "Songs From the Big Chair"), this album is not without its own special moments. The music is indeed rich and varied. It is sad that the fragile egos of the duo broke the group apart little by little: first with the departure of Manny Elias, the drummer with the cool hair and kickin' attitude, then Ian Stanley, and finally Curt Smith. In many ways, this album is a testament to self-destruction.
No, Orzabal does not have "rock's greatest voice." Anyone who has heard "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" or this album's "Advice for the Young at Heart" and to anything of Roland's should easily conclude that Curt's is the superior of two fine voices. In fact, the balance of my favorite TFF songs are/were sung by Curt, and since his departure, the quality of TFF albums has gone steadily downhill (the only song that comes to mind since the breakup is "Break It Down Again"). Orzabal's power trip with this album stands as a showcase to his egomania and was, sadly, the driving force behind the breakup.
All that aside, this album is a keeper. Not just because it is so good, either, but because it is the last true TFF album. Though the additional tracks are not that much of an improvement over the original album version, they are an interesting look at the creative thoughts of the group.
Who knows, perhaps the mellowing effects of age will bring the duo back together in twenty years for a reunion album. We shall see.
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe they were trying too hard?,
It has become pretty well known that Roland Orzabal, the guiding light behing TFF has had a tendency to be a little too much of a perfectionist. Let me start off by saying that the title cut is probably the most fantastic sonic adventure I have ever experienced (although its sound is very Beatlesque Sgt. Pepper period it is original on its own and a true masterpiece). The rest just kind of leaves me flat and it is not because of lack of effort or melody. It just seems kind of overblown. "Badlands" tries to incorporate jazz influences but just comes off as long and tedious. Other cuts are tuneful and melodic enough but just don't move me. I think a lot might have to do with how brilliant the title cut is and I am being honest. I expected to just be blown away with the rest of it but was dissappointed because everything pales in comparision.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahmed Ghouri M.D.,
In a single year, 1905, Einstein published two earth shattering papers, each of which would have independently changed the world. I found listening to this album a similar, nearly unfathonable achievement for a single human mind...Roland Orzabal is one of the greatest musical talents of the century, and I have listened to thousands of artists over the preceding 25 years as a very serious music afficando. Essentially every song is a masterpiece, with deep social meaning, and the musical score in 'Swords and Knives' leaves one in sheer awe, wondering of the origins of Orzabal's creative energies. Listening to this album is perhaps comparable to viewing, for the first time, the Sistine Chapel. It is that magnificent. If you could take only 10 CDs in the world with you on a deserted island for the next half century, this would be one of them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great range and very talented songwriters and musicians,
This is the "Sgt Pepper's" of the late 1980's, and it even looks similar! A great CD from an under-rated band. Thier range of musical styles and talent has been underappreciated because of thier being lumped into the "80's" pop band genre. Don't be misled by critics, this is outstanding from beginning to end. Of special note is the work by Oleta Adams, who was discovered by the band, and the singing of Curt Smith. Curt doesn't have the range of voice that his bandmate Roland does, but adds more soul. Also, try and get the VCD of "Going to California" which is the live tour from this release. Takes the music to an even higher level and adds some treats as well. One of the best recorded works of the 80's, and "timeless". The extra tracks are also excellent.
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless,
TFF are the best band in the entire world! The Big Chair made TFF my favorite band of all time. However the album that made TFF my favorite band in the world for good is this one, The Seeds Of Love.
SOL is the most incredible, most colorful album that I've ever heard from a rock band. It's hard to believe that the mechanical sounding Big Chair and the soul-rock sounding Seeds Of Love are by the same band.
My favorites are ever so wonderful Advice For The Young At Heart the Gospel tinged Standing On The Corner of The Third World, & the eight & a half minute jazzy blues-rock influenced Badmans Song.
Go out and by this CD. It's so worth the money and buy the remastered edition with the four bonus tracks. It's so worth the money.
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