Curt Smith, former half of 80s
Brit rock icons Tears For Fears, was discarded and forgotten
by the masses after departing with Roland Orzabal and taking
the solo route. He became Mayfield, and released one full
length that met with a mild response. Now just remember this
phrase: Curt is no longer Mayfield and he kicks ass.
With the return of his own moniker
and the release of a new EP, Curt has taken what was the Tears
For Fears style of 80s pop and melded it with the sweeping
emotional pop sound of the new style of Brit rock. This EP
represents a middle ground of the departure from both Mayfield
and Tears for Fears and the current path Smith is walking.
The 6 track CD features "Snow Hill" and "Reach Out:" two tunes
remixed from the Mayfield CD. The "Snow Hill" remix is an
above average song. Very pretty and arranged well, but surprisingly
non-evolving. I could listen to it and never hate it, but
I can't see it turning up on any mix tapes or CD compilations.
Letıs do a 180 for the remix of "Reach Out." This is a great
song and would be exactly the type of tune you would want
to hear on a mix in the middle of a road trip. This would
be the point of the trip when you set the beer down, toss
out the roach and enjoy.
Out of the two new songs offered,
"Where Do I Go" is the perfect b-side. A beautiful song that
maybe wouldnıt make it on it's own as a single, but is a perfect
companion to the sheer brilliance of other new track "Aeroplane."
This track helped me to realize how well Curt can sing and
write a tune, and made me feel slightly like I was listening
to what should have come after Seeds of Love. "Aeroplane"
is beautifully arranged and never once lets you slip away
until it's perfectly timed ending. These two tracks are supposed
to represent the sound of his forthcoming solo CD. Fine with
me! Both songs left me yearning for more. Much more. Now letıs
get to what actually made me track down the EP in the first
place and made me realize that the CD had much more to offer.
Curt puts a new spin on two Tears
for Fears classics. First up is "Pale Shelter." WOW! This
has to be the best reworking of a tune I've ever blared in
my stereo. It not only showcases Curt's growth after T.F.F.,
but also gives us a taste of an old codger that still has
the power and pop sensibility to knock new brats like Oasis
and such off the stage. The other gem is a live acoustic version
of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." It's done with perfection
and the only thing that is slightly missed is that intro from
the original. But if you're like me you grew up with the song
you've heard it plenty and can just let that part jingle along
in your head while the acoustic version is playing. Curt has
two things to say about the reworks and new EP: "The Aeroplane
EP gives me the chance to showcase tracks from my upcoming
full length CD, while finally releasing a couple of re-worked
Tears For Fears, recorded live that have been sitting in my
studio gathering dust for the last couple of years." Or "I'm
just cashing in on my former glory." Either way this is amazing
CD. It maybe only contains 6 tracks, but it's strong and potent
as any full length. Hopefully the Tears for Fears tracks will
get people interested and then let them try and struggle free
from Curt's well-laid pop web. So un-knuckle some change and
get this worth-every-penny CD. Thanks Curt.
- Jeff Turner
- Pale Shelter
- Where Do I Go
- Snow Hill (remix)
- Reach Out (remix)
- Everybody Wants To Rule The
World (live acoustic)