Tears for Fears
The Hurting


5.0
classic

Review

by outline USER (11 Reviews)
January 1st, 2011 | 80 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Hurting is filled to the brim with cliches, and is somehow all the better for it.

If you just look at the album cover you can count three cliches: the band name, the album name, and the crying child. The Hurting is an easy album to dismiss. It didn't reach any kind of success in America, it was overshadowed by the band's 80s anthem "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", and the only song on it that everybody knows is supposedly a "worse version of the Gary Jules cover". That's a lot going against it, and coupled with the immature over-dramatic subject matter, one would think you could write this off as a childish debut. But somehow, you can't.

Jumping into this album you can tell that it's the definition of an eighties album. There's a drum machine, synth effects, and a weirdly danceable vibe. The album begins with a modified African sounding drum fill and liberal use of echo effects, and then the whole piece's theme is set up with that one song. "The Hurting" (the song, not the album) is one of the best songs on the entire album because it couples everything people actually liked about New Wave music without all the stuff we hated about it. The bridge throws in a pan-flute section that instead of feeling pretentious strikes an incredible balance with the music and somehow feels natural, as though it was obvious that the two should be combined. In an album that throws in a children's choir (the definition of cliche, but actually well-utilized here), a harpsichord, and bongo drums, these curveballs end up being almost as interesting as the music itself.

Of course there are a few songs on here that people may be familiar with, such as the sublimely produced "Mad World". I don't care how much my friends try to convince me, I will never find the Gary Jules version better. The dull (sound-wise, not as in boring), Morrissey-esque voice of Roland Orzabal complements the dark music perfectly, and the atmosphere is reminiscent of bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain and helps the album achieve the mood is sets out to. There's so much to love in this sound that it's a shame that more new wave bands didn't seek it out.

The album's lyrics can be a little over-the-top, but it can never be said that they don't fit their songs. Every chorus on the album is easy to sing along to, and at their best, the lyrics are concise and meaningful.

"Say what you want
Say what you will
'Cos I find you think what makes it easier

And lies spread on lies
We don't care
Belief is our relief
We don't care "

The Hurting is a sadly overlooked classic of the New Wave genre, and is worth a download to any open-minded music listener who doesn't absolutely hate "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". To the New Wave or eighties pop fan it's absolutely essential and should be passed up by nobody.

The Pros:

Excellent instrumentation, production, and atmosphere
The album is filled with anthems, and is fun to listening to while still maintaining its somber mood
Orzabal's voice fits the music perfectly

The Cons:

Some may find it too over-dramatic

Definitely Download:

The Hurting
Mad World
Pale Shelter
Ideas As Opiates
Suffer the Children
Change



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user ratings (238)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Tom93M (4.5)
It’s a very, very mad world....


Comments:Add a Comment 
outline
January 1st 2011


563 Comments


It didn't seem right that it had no reviews.

Josh D.
January 1st 2011


14144 Comments


I like Songs From The Big Chair.

bloc
January 1st 2011


54697 Comments


About time this album got a review

Digging: Way Out West - Intensify

Fluorine
January 1st 2011


104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think this album is one of the best that the 80s has to offer.

bloc
January 1st 2011


54697 Comments


I would say this and Big Chair are tied for me.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2011


8226 Comments


Funny, i was watching a Tears for Fears video just a short while ago.

Great vocals.

And...

The 21st century in music could use for its sake a small portion of the naivety that prevailed in the 80's...

Titan50
January 2nd 2011


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The singles are all classics, but the rest of the album is just too patchy for me. Songs From The Big Chair is excellent, though

vanderb0b
January 2nd 2011


3473 Comments


Good review, the album needed one. What I've heard off of this is pretty cool.

Eskate87
January 2nd 2011


959 Comments


nice review, great album.

Jips
February 24th 2011


1146 Comments


great album...

Josh D.
February 24th 2011


14144 Comments


Songs From The Big Chair, man.

bloc
February 25th 2011


54697 Comments


Both are ace, but I agree Big Chair is a bit better.

Scrambled
May 19th 2011


394 Comments


nice review, agree with everyone else that big chair is superior but this aint terrible

wacknizzle
June 19th 2013


14521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I CAN'T OPERATE ON THIS FAILURE

WHEN ALL I WANNA BE IS

IN THE COMMAND





So glad I found the 7 minute version of Pale Shelter, that song is just tooo good!

bloc
June 19th 2013


54697 Comments


Reminds me of good ol' Vice City

GEAC
July 7th 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is infinite and simply perfect.

icatchthirtythree
January 11th 2014


889 Comments


yeah this is very very good. love the production!

icatchthirtythree
January 11th 2014


889 Comments


needs more luv

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 8th 2015


41657 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

honestly these guys are easily my favourite 80's band

Digging: Edyth - Bare II

Tyler.
August 4th 2015


16453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mad wooooooooooooooooooooooooooorld



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