Something seems to be missing these days. It seems that record companies, radio stations, and streaming services are pushing some the great established musicians to the background. As a result these veteran artists are not getting the attention they deserve. Enter the Top 10 Album Countdown: The New Oldies. The main point is simple – to make this list you must have at least 20 years of producing established music. The album by the artist must have been released between November 1st, 2021 and October 31st, 2022.
#1 Tears For Fears – The Tipping Point
The #1 album I was going to select was the worst kept secret on Prime Time Jukebox. It just took me a while to post this due to a brutal travel schedule.
Alas, The Tipping Point tops the list for 2023. This was the first studio album in 18 years by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal. That is longer than the breakup the duo had from 1990 to 2004. Tears For Fears as a band has only released seven original studio albums, and the nucleus of Smith and Orzabal have only done 5 together. These guys don’t do a lot of studio albums, but when they do one – it’s very clear the strive for perfection.
When Tears For Fears released Everybody Loves a Happy Ending in 2004, it was sort of an appropriately titled album. The 14 year breakup of the band was quite acrimonious and this seemed to bring it to a “happy conclusion”. After that the band toured semi-regularly. They had tried to get a new album going, but some friction had resurfaced. This time the friction didn’t pull the band apart. During this time Orzabal’s wife died in 2017. They were able to reconvene and eventually put focus into finishing their album. That would result in The Tipping Point.
Tears For Fears are no-longer twenty something new-wavers. They are now in the 60s and clearly have matured over time. This album clearly reflects what has happened in Smith and Orzabals lives. One thing that this album does quite well is put all of the cards on the table – much like they did with their first two albums, The Hurting and Songs From the Big Chair.
The music is amazing and it will hit you to the core. Songs like The Tipping Point (title track), Break the Man, End of Night, and My Demons. Perhaps the surprise track is Please Be Happy, this is a song written by Orzabal but sung by Curt Smith. This is a powerful and emotional 1970s style ballad that clearly is a tribute to Orzabal’s wife – and Curt Smith does it justice.
There is no such thing as filler tracks on this album. It’s an absolute masterpiece by the boys – and it’s not only the New Oldies Album of the Year, but it’s my overall Album of the Year.
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