Picks and Pans Review: Songs from the Big Chair

updated 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Tears for Fears

If their fellow Britons, Wham!, overdose on giddiness and soapy romance, Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal—the two Bath boys who are Tears for Fears—take themselves, the world and certainly the record business far too seriously. Woven into just about all their synthesizer-heavy songs are enigmatic, cynical messages that seem aimed at decrying the powers that be, from Mom and Dad on up. "These are the things I can do without," mourns the refrain of Shout, though the exact nature of those things is unclear, as is the identity of the culprits behind Everybody Wants To Rule the World, the group's (Smith, Orzabal and two others) hit single. The album is full of intriguing turns of phrase, both melodic and verbal, that lead nowhere, except into repetitions of themselves. There's nothing wrong with repetition for effect, but when people start to wonder if it's repetition for lack of anything better to do, that's another case altogether. (Polygram)

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