I don’t use the term genius very often, but Roland Orzabal is a musical genius. Better known as a co-founder of the group Tears For Fears with Curt Smith, he has been writing amazing songs for about 30 years. Roland also has one of the most powerful voices in music today. I have been a big fan since their first album, The Hurting which is a starkly honest reflection of both founders experience with childhood abuse. The lyrics from their deep body of work are usually intensely personal and almost always compelling. The music is beautifully written and carefully produced. Each album has a somewhat thematic feel and tends to deal with major life issues.
There are very few songwriters who could have put together the catalogue Roland and Curt have created. Their musical journey and evolution has been impressive to watch. Thankfully, they have lightened up a bit after a fairly long hiatus in the 90s (although Roland did soldier on alone for several albums) which is hopefully a testament to their own happiness with themselves and each other.
I’ve always felt bad for Roland because his first solo album outside the Tears For Fears framework Tomcats Screaming Outside was released on 9/12/01 and we all know what happened the day before. There was no way this exceptional piece of work was going to get recognized amidst the din of 9/11 fallout. I encourage you to buy it and you’ll see how ahead of his time he was creatively and how many bands followed his lead later on.
The song “Maybe Our Days Are Numbered” has been rumored to be about a lot of things: his complex relationship with Curt; his struggles with fame, etc. As far as I know Roland has never come clean about it. Regardless, it’s a great song and like most of his music probably has many layers of meaning which you can interpret and make your own.
Two from Tears for Fears (technology-headlines.com)
Corrected: Take the beating (nixonara.wordpress.com)
“The shaping of a life. . . .” (I Believe) (nixonara.wordpress.com)
What lies beneath (nixonara.wordpress.com)
- Artist Countdown: Tears For Fears 6pm ET @radiomax @tearsforfears (radiomaxmusic2.wordpress.com)