Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tears For Fears: Stay

"Stay. Don't stay. Go. Don't Go."

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith have had a hell of a journey, sometimes tumultuous and never making it easy on themselves. The duo that is the core of Tears For Fears may in fact always bring that creative tension to the table generating some of the most enjoyable pop songs of the past four decades even if today's youth aren't savvy enough to pay attention.

Following the epic semi-concept masterpiece that was The Seeds Of Love (1989) the duo essentially went their separate ways. Orzabal carried on the Tears name while Smith struggled to find his voice without the musical companionship of Orzabal's genius at his back.

After nearly fifteen years the duo rejoined in 2000 to write the cleverly titled Everybody Loves A Happy Ending (2004), but fortunately it didn't seem to end there.

Never exactly prolific as pop tunesmiths and craftsmen of pop songs of the highest order, the duo has worked almost at a snail's pace over the last two decades. This fan and a few others thinks the time is due for a new recording guys.

But rather than a full course menu the boys teased fans and the world with Rule The World: The Greatest Hits (2017) and delivered two new songs very under the radar. The songs worked nicely in conjunction with a stateside tour alongside talented American counterparts Daryl Hall And John Oates.

One selection is highlighted by Roland Orzabal in I Love You But I'm Lost, written with Dan Smith of Bastille, and the other is Stay with a tender lead vocal by Curt Smith.

Both are typically exquisite by the band, but not unlike the classic Everybody Wants To Rule The World (1985), also with a lead by Smith on one of the act's most popular songs ever, Stay once again sees Smith in magical form with Orzabal and the two back in the fold as one.

It was incredibly difficult to find a song that grabbed me from Smith's solo output over the years in the way Stay does so out of the gate so immediately. It is a simple ballad that works its way into the mind almost instantly. The song reminds us how good Orzabal and Smith are together. They are the perfect complement. Like Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr (Simple Minds), Smith and Orzabal deliver a chemistry as a unit that is sometimes missing on their own.

So with that, please Tears For Fears, stay. We need you.

Rule The World: The Greatest Hits (2017). A. Once upon a time the duo did rule the world and here is a collection worthy of the name with two new songs that are easily as good as anything on the collection. Quite simply brilliant.

Stay. A. An achingly beautiful piece of musical poetry spearheaded by Curt Smith on vocals that illustrates how wondrous it is to watch Orzabal and Smith seamlessly switch roles on leads whenever the song suits them. Not many bands can share that call to arms so effortlessly. Stay is quite simply a gorgeous, delicate piece of pop.

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