Was what Curt and Raoul wrote in Memories Fade, a song from their first album The Hurting, released in 1983.

Technically that wasn’t their first album. They had a song some years before that, late 70s. They had a different name back then. They were called Graduate.

Obviously I am flexing. Wanted you to see how big of a Tears for Fears fan I am. I didn’t even need to look that up.

Which is why all this criticism about TFF’s brand new album The Tipping Point being not as listenable as their back catalogue – that TFF should’ve ended their music career at the height of their fame – bothers me.

There are people who live in the past, present and future, and switch periods often depending on their need.

My beautiful Curt and Raoul have struggled. Raoul has confessed to going on a downward spiral after losing his wife Caroline some years ago. Not sure if Curt is still together with Lynn, but I believe he also struggled and tried to build a new life in California some years ago.

I have known Curt and Raoul all my life through their incredibly rich music. They are not disingenuous. They are candid and sincere. Their vulnerability is their strongest and most beautiful feature. I know how radiant they once looked, and how life has personally diminished them in ways they have kept from all of us.

I know how much they’ve been through. I just know.

All I need to do is listen to their music.

There are artists who are chameleon-like in their musicianship, like David Bowie, and there are artists who can’t help but stay true to their essence, like TFF.

This is not to belittle the accomplishments of either one. Bowie is a legend – we all know that.

But not being versatile or malleable quickly enough to go with the times shouldn’t be seen as a failure of creativity or imagination.

You don’t say that a mountain is not creative or imaginative enough just because it can’t turn itself into an ocean right away.

TFF maintains that this album is their best album to date, a departure from everything else they’ve done in the past. I will lovingly disagree as I feel that they have not quite let go of their past musical stylings just yet. But I believe this is why they’ve named their album as such: this point in fact marks two TFF epochs: the end of an era and the start of another. Perhaps there is still much about their past  – or anybody’s for that matter – that refuses to fall away. They continue to circulate in the windmills of minds and unconsciously find its way into the present offering.

However, I do have an opinion about artists who have centered their artistry on youthfulness and energy and struggle to remain faithful to these qualities even as they enter a different life cycle. I question their need to struggle that hard: why they need all that plastic surgery done; why they need to assume that same kinesthetic frenzy that lands them on a hospital bed, their bones broken in several places.

I think struggle is a good thing, but we should discern needless struggle from necessary struggle, the kind that brings you to a new place in your creative imagination. The kind that is graceful to look at and gentle to listen to.

Curt and Raoul are trying music again. I’ve listened to The Tipping Point. It’s a new album, a creative expression of where they’re at right now. It has a different feel from The Hurting or The Seeds of Love, or even Raoul and The Kings of Spain. But you don’t unlove your child just because it reminds you so much of its father, whose memory you want to erase from your being. The Tipping Point is their sonic child this year, and I love all of TFF’s sonic children, albeit equitably too. You love each child differently depending on what their nature requires. You don’t smother-mother an independent-loving child, for one.

Dear Curt and Raoul, do know that you are deeply loved by me and millions of others around the world. I will look forward, backward, sideways, aerially in 4D, and pretty much any ways, to whatever you guys plan on bringing together into this world next. And if you want to let go of your musical past and turn a new chapter, please know that it’s not so bad to remain in its embrace for a while longer, just until you regain your bearings to start afresh.

PS: The Hurting is 40 years old next year! And it’s still so deliciously painful to listen to. I love that primal scream Raoul does in Start of the Breakdown.

#tearsforfears #thetippingpoint #tff #curtsmith #rolandorzabal #newwave #80s