Tears For Fears: The Hurting (Half Speed Remaster)(Mercury/Universal Music Group) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 22nd, 2024  

Tears for Fears

The Hurting (Half Speed Remaster)

Mercury/Universal Music Group

Jun 30, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Happy 40th birthday to Tears For FearsThe Hurting. Who would have thought that a loose concept album about trauma, abuse and depression would go platinum and spawn three UK Top 10 singles? To celebrate, it’s been reissued for the umpteenth time, so if you really need a half speed remastered version of it, or a Dolby Atmos mix, now’s your chance. Never has depression sounded so sumptuous.

The Hurting got a bit of a kicking back in the day. In the decade of conspicuous consumption and ostentation, a stark, sincere confessional with mental illness at the core was ever so slightly out of step with the times. In 2023, it sounds positively contemporary. Lyrically, anyway.

The record sounds as technically perfect as it did in 1983. Producers Ross Cullum and Chris Hughes Ross have polished every note and placed them perfectly. It cries out to be played on the best stereo system you can afford. Fortunately, it’s not a case of style over substance. The 10 tracks on The Hurting are never less than great and some are outstanding. The singles “Pale Shelter,” “Mad World,” and “Change” are superb examples of post-punk pop. “Change” motors along on the simplest of basslines and adds a little grit to the gloss of the rest of the album.

Elsewhere, “The Prisoner” seems to be modelled heavily on Peter Gabriel’s Melt/III album with its pounding drums and malevolent vocals. If you’d bought the record on the strength of “Pale Shelter,” you might have hidden behind the sofa when you first heard it. The album ends with “The Start of the Breakdown,” which features the line “We love to cry.” A fact which was evidenced by the incredible success of the album.

Unlike many records from the ’80s, The Hurting has held up well. All the programming and production gloss has been so beautifully and tastefully used that it’s hard to fault it. The lyrics at times, are almost verging on parody, but they are so sincerely delivered, it doesn’t seem to matter. On this record Tears For Fears did the impossible, they made a record that is both of its time and yet, is timeless. (www.tearsforfears.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10



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