Tears For Fears

By Emmett Overbey

In 1967, the Beatles recorded a melodic, orchestrated, hypnotizing song for their “Magical Mystery Tour” album. They called it “I Am the Walrus.”

In 1989, Tears For Fears recorded the same song. They called it “Sowing the Seeds of Love.”

To be fair, it’s really only the first ten seconds of the song that sounds like “I Am the Walrus.” From there, the song takes off on a “love power” tangent with enough catchy chants to make it a hit.

There doesn’t seem to be anything to it, though. “My girlfriend and me in love…” “I love a sunflower…”

Come on.

This album, while not artistically atrocious, is a pretty big disappointment. 1983’s “The Hurting” was a masterpiece, and ‘85’s “Songs From the Big Chair” was fantastic (at least until the radio stations got a hold of “Shout”).

“Seeds of Love” sounds good; everyone involved obviously knows how to play his or her instrument. It’s the content that baffles me.

I don’t understand “Woman in Chains.” I suppose it’s some sort of ERA-Now “betterment of women in society” anthem. I’m not being chauvanistic; equal rights are fine with me. I just don’t understand why Tears For Fears is singing about them.

“Advice for the Young at Heart” sounds like a high school guidance counselor’s graduation speech set to music.

On the upswing, “Swords and Knives” and “Year of the Knife” (notice the cutlery motif) are both worth a listen, and “Standing On the Corner of the Third World” sounds a lot like something off “The Hurting.”

“Inner Track Disappointment of the Week” award goes to “Badman’s Song.” A jazz-odyssey drums-and-piano intro rocks for half a minute, then the rest of the instruments jump in with what sounds a lot like the theme from “Good Times.” Then, alas, it falls apart. A sappy duet. What a shame. Towards the end, the jazz-odyssey returns, but much too late to save the song.

If you really like the song “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” you just might enjoy the album, but be warned: the rest of the songs sound nothing like the single. Try to listen to someone else’s copy before you buy your own.

This is the perfect album to put on if you need to study or really concentrate on something. This album won’t distract you. You won’t want to sing along and you won’t want to get up and dance. You might even forget it’s on.