Following Curt Smith's excellent 2008 album Halfway Pleased, I anxiously awaited a next album... but given Tears for Fears recent uptick in activity, it looked like the band would release something first.
To my surprise, I discovered last week that Curt had actually released an album... in 2013. Always on top of it, clearly.
In any case, it's new to me and likely to you.
From the opening notes of "Beautiful Failure," this sounds like Halfway Pleased 2.0 -- the same beautiful and dreamy music, shimmering vocals, and twisted dark lyrics. I settled in for more of the same of what the first album gave us.
Then "Suffer the Silence" happens. Then "Hold It Together" happens. It's enough of a change in terms of musical texture that the charge here is clear: capture the brilliance of the last album, but expand on it without losing the plot.
The result? I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Smith plays to his strengths without being held captive by them. There still is plenty of mellow here, but there's also experimentation.
In the end what comes through is the combination of confident experience with the restless energy of an artist. It's just another amazing offering from a great musician.
CD Placement Rating: You want to guess? Car iPod.