Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point (Vinyl)

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The Tipping Point is the seventh studio album by the English pop rock band Tears for Fears, released on 25 February 2022 through Concord Records.[5] It is the band's first studio album since Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, released almost 18 years prior.

Tracks on the album include "The Tipping Point", which was released with a music video in October 2021. Further singles followed, with "No Small Thing" released in December 2021, and "Break the Man" in January 2022. The album was a critical and commercial success.

Work on the album began in 2013, but the process proved difficult for band members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. The band were asked by their (then) management company to collaborate with various younger artists in an attempt to create a more contemporary and commercial sounding album. However, these sessions (which the band themselves likened to "speed dating") were not entirely successful, resulting in an album which, as Orzabal later put it, sounded "less like a Tears For Fears album". The band originally signed to the Warner Music label to release the album, but once it was completed in 2016, Universal Music (who own the bulk of the band's back catalogue from the 1980s and 90s) then showed interest in the project. Universal opted to first release a new compilation album, Rule the World: The Greatest Hits, in 2017 in order to pave the way for the new album. This included two of the new tracks, including "I Love You but I'm Lost" which was co-written by the band along with members of Bastille. However, Universal then delayed releasing The Tipping Point as planned, at which point Orzabal and Smith began to have second thoughts about the finished product. The duo lost focus on the project for a while as Orzabal struggled with health problems following the death of his wife, and Smith even contemplated walking away from the band altogether. However, after a successful tour in 2019, they reconvened in early 2020 and "plotted a path forward of how we could finish an album that we were both happy with". The duo signed with a new management company, decided to rework the album (keeping some tracks and replacing others with new material), then signed a new contract with Concord Records. Some lyrics were inspired by the death of Orzabal's wife in 2017. Of the various songs recorded with other artists and producers, many of the band's collaborations with Sacha Skarbek remained on the album. The track "Stay", which was the other new track to appear on the Rule the World compilation album in 2017, was also included in a slightly remixed form.


Seventeen years is a long time between albums. It's even longer when you consider the magnitude of how much life happens during that interval. Tears for Fears had experienced mega pop successes (and loads of industry pressure) with Songs from the Big Chair and The Seeds of Love. Curt Smith, sick of paying fame's price, quit in 1991. Roland Orzabal carried on the name for two more lackluster albums. The lads reunited for 2004's Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, but it was short-lived. They planned to record again shortly thereafter, but Orzabal's wife Caroline became gravely ill. Further, their record company tried pairing them with contemporary hitmaking songwriters. They scuttled the sessions. Caroline died in 2017, and a bereft Orzabal turned to his old friend Smith for community and solace; the duo began touring and writing together again in a room with two acoustic guitars. The Tipping Point was eventually completed during the pandemic.

You can hear the intimacy between these songwriters in "No Small Thing." An acoustic guitar introduces Orzabal's vocal amid reverb, subtle yet glitchy electronics, and an organ. Smith's harmony enters atop a slide guitar and bass drums. The duo deliver an anthemic chorus that refuses to let go. The title track offers the same elegant pop swing and production polish that fueled Songs from the Big Chair. Its subject matter addresses living through the final stages of Caroline's illness. "Break the Man" is sung by Smith and offers a master class in Tears for Fears' glorious psych-pop sound; it may be the catchiest song ever written about smashing the patriarchy. "My Demons" is a rocking big beat Orzabal anthem with zigzagging synths and guitars. Set highlight "Rivers of Mercy" is a poignant, tender ballad juxtaposing emotional states of healing and letting go with living through COVID-19 and the racially charged upheaval that engulfed America during the summer of 2020. The grain in Smith's voice carries the listener through grief, confusion, and the desire for peace. "Please Be Happy," also sung by Smith, bravely bears witness to Caroline's suffering and depression as her illness accelerated. (He knew her from the time they were teens.) Strings frame a piano, majestic drums, and deeply stirring vocals. A muted trumpet meets the sweeping strings in a chorus that momentarily recalls the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road." "Master Plan" offers melodrama in spades. It's a hooky, bombastic dig at former management and the music industry's ability to transform artists into commodities amid deliberately grandiose production. "End of Night" is transcendent neo-psychedelic pop layered in electronics, with lush vocal harmonies, massive basses and drums, and an earworm chorus. Varied, poetic, and poignant, The Tipping Point is, after all this time, the very album the duo wanted to make. This set is a classic-sounding Tears for Fears record, one that makes the listener take emotional, spiritual, and mental inventory of their inner world even as the one outside roils with trouble, violence, and madness. Welcome back gents, we've missed you.

By: Thom Yurak.

A1 No Small Thing 4:42
A2 The Tipping Point 4:13
A3 Long, Long, Long Time 4:31
A4 Break The Man 3:55
A5 My Demons 3:08
B1 Rivers Of Mercy 6:08
B2 Please Be Happy 3:05
B3 Master Plan 4:37
B4 End Of Night 3:23
B5 Stay 4:36

Licensed To – Concord Records
Record Company – Universal International Music B.V.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – TFF UK, LLC
Copyright © – TFF UK, LLC
Pressed By – GZ Media – 235700E
Artwork [Cover Art] – Cinta Vidal
Mastered By – Ted Jensen
Photography By – Frank Ockenfels 3*
Producer – Charlton Pettus (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1 to B3), Sacha Skarbek (tracks: A2, A5, B4, B5), Tears For Fears
Producer [Additional Production] – Charlton Pettus (tracks: B5), Florian Reutter (tracks: A2, A5, B3, B5)
Made in the EU
Barcode (Text): 8 88072 40413 7
Barcode (Scanned): 888072404137
Rights Society: BIEM/SDRM
Label Code: LC15025
Matrix / Runout (Side A variant 1): 00888072404137 - A 235700E1/B
Matrix / Runout (Side B variant 1): 00888072404137 - B 235700E2/B
Matrix / Runout (Side A variant 2): 00888072404137 - A 235700E1/B
Matrix / Runout (Side B variant 2): 00888072404137 - B 235700E2/A