Tears for fears honoured their contemporary influences, Hot Chip, last Tuesday, by covering their single And I Was a Boy At School and releasing it via Sound Cloud to their extensive and devoted fan base. Whilst perhaps Tears For Fears’ influence upon the music industry has somewhat diminished, their eminent mark on the music world has been far-reaching, as they have been the driving forces of new wave, synth-pop.
Mad World has perhaps become synonymous with Gary Jules’ version which was recorded for the film Donnie Darko, and the band themselves have become marginalised in the modern dynamic music industry. Unfortunately, this cover will not have the profound impact on what seems to be an explicit attempt to reassert their influence, and perhaps an increase in album sales, hence the conveniently timed re-issue of The Hurting.
The cover manages to do Hot Chip’s version some justice, whilst exerting their own 80s synth-pop take on the track, however at times it becomes a disconcerting experience for the listener, and quite frankly, monotonous. There are even subtle undertones of Drum and Bass creeping through on the chorus, which emphasises Orland Rozabal’s and Curt Smith’s meritable versatility in maintaining a progressive sound. Progressive, perhaps. Relevant? Unfortunately not. Rozabal’s irreproachable harmonies are it’s only redeeming factor. In what seems on the surface as a noble attempt to honour their contemporaries, is a concealment of a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to propel themselves back under the spotlight. Although, in the search for at least some appraisal, after a few listens the track does begin to grown on you, but it fails to induce a lasting impact on the listener and is something you are not likely to return to. However, the cover may not be a fundamental prefigurement of what is to come from arguably one of the most talented and influential singer/songwriter duos of the modern music era.
…the cover may be a pleasurable experience…
The band themselves have proclaimed that the cover, which followed their preceding cover of Arcade Fire’s Ready to Start, was a means of showing ‘some reciprocal cross-generational love’ to those artists, amongst others, who have been inspired by Tears for Fears. For some listeners, the cover may be a pleasurable experience, but it’s in a distant world, away from the paramount success of their dominance of the music industry in the 80s, and will inevitably leave fans that were hungry for new material, deeply disappointed.