Tears For Fears - “The Tipping Point” Album Review

Story posted March 2, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Fernanda Lopez.

Synth-pop American duo Tears For Fears released their first album in 17 years, titled “The Tipping Point.” This album from the legendary band is an important point in their career, as they managed to reinvent their pop sound with one that comes closest to the Lumineers and Midlake — with elements of both folk and alternative pop.

The first song, “No Small Thing” is a beautiful ballad accompanied by Tears For Fears' signature synths and with the raspy voice of lead singer Curt Smith.

This tune is the beginning of a new era for them, as they experiment with sounds, and more importantly, lyrics —singing about the meaning of freedom for them.

Followed by their main single from the album, “The Tipping Point,” this experimental synth-pop tune sounds directly from a Depeche Mode album. With echoes, synths, drum beats and a powerful voice leading this single, this song is both catching and exciting.

The intro is the most impressive part of the song, as it combines both soft melodies with synths and elements also popularized by alternative rock band Muse.

“Long, Long, Long Time'' is one of those songs that just does not fit in. This pop tune is generic and insipid, with lyrics like; “The higher the mountain, the harder the fall.”

The chorus, sung by a female voice, does not add any excitement to the tune, making it feel like a filler song that could've been sung by any contemporary band — not by an established legendary band like Tears For Fears.

“Break The Man” is another failure for the American duo, as this song is a plain, pop song with a simple chord progression and the minimum use of synths.

This disappointing song falls under the same category of ‘bland, pop tunes’ that bands try to imitate to achieve a radio-friendly sound.

Despite being enjoyable, it is not comparable to the quality of songs the duo has produced in the past, such as “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

However, the band takes an interesting spin with “My Demons,” a synth-pop anthem that sounds like it came out during the 80s. Although this song hasn't been out for not a long time, it already sounds like a classic. The guitar, the vocals and the lyrics are all executed to perfection. This song has the edge that makes Tears For Fears so beloved by many.

The closing track, “Stay” is a beautifully written ballad. The arpeggio and the melodic voice of Smith make this song sound both melancholic and romantic. The simplicity, alongside the lyrics about wanting someone to stay with you, makes this tune a great way of ending the album.

The synth-pop 80s duo managed to reinvent their sound by experimenting with popular genres and sounds, like alternative pop while remaining faithful to their synths.

Lyrically, they delivered a range of emotions, and Curt Smith’s vocals sounded better than ever. Despite having some songs that followed a predictable modern pop pattern, they managed to appeal to both their loyal fan base and a potentially younger audience.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “The Tipping Point, Stay”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Break The Man”

Fernanda Lopez is a first year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email lfl5339@psu.edu.