Tears For Fears / Secret World – Live In Paris (DVD/CD)(Archives, 2006)

“This is the garden, this is the steeple / I hear the crowd before I ever see the people …”

While songs about the mean old record company represent one of my least favorite genres, I’m a sucker for a custom-built show opener (example: Shawn Colvin’s “Fill Me Up”). Include a “Let ‘Em In” quote, and this import-only live set starts strong with “Secret World”.

After another song from 2004’s Everybody Loves A Happy Ending — “Call Me Mellow” with Curt taking lead vocals — they dive into a modest but smartly assembled set.

Turns out that like his Liverpuddlian idol (and unlike, say, Bono), Roland Orzabal’s got one of those special voices — not only instantly recognizable, but magically durable as the years roll by. He’s full-strength in concert here, whether belting it out or flipping into falsetto.

Not A Bargain, But …

The rest of the band is solid — not slavishly pursuing the official arrangement, fortunately, but not exactly reinventing anything, either.

The only arrangement misstep is “Mad World”, where the tick-tock tempo that contributed to the record’s eerie vibe gets bogged down into a slower, heavier effort here. Well, and the fizzled-out ending in “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” would’ve been better replaced with just a tad of stadium bombast, too, but that’s about it.

The camerawork complements the DVD audio’s full mix. A few directorial and post-production flourishes give the final product some personality beyond what’s otherwise an unfussy stage presentation. The CD’s two bonus studio tracks aren’t bad, either (especially the obtuse yet catchy “Floating Down The River”).

But ultimately, this release documents a decent tour supporting a somewhat surprising album. From reuniting in the first place to closing with Big Chair’s biggest trifecta — “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” / “Head Over Heels” / “Shout” — the guys from Bath backed up their last disc’s title.

If we’d gotten a full-length show, this would be absolutely worth the import price. As it is, if you’re a big fan or perhaps a decent fan with a gift card, Secret World represents an enjoyable, just slightly indulgent pickup.

Tears For Fears / Secret World – Live In Paris (CD/DVD)

CD: Secret World / Call Me Mellow / Sowing The Seeds Of Love / Pale Shelter / Closest Thing To Heaven / Mad World / Everybody Wants To Rule The World / Head Over Heels / Shout / Secret World (radio edit) / Floating Down The River (studio) / What Are We Fighting For (studio)
DVD – Contains the 9 live tracks above.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *