Curt Smith – Halfway Pleased (CD)

Curt Smith, individuals may know, was the individual (that along with Roland Orzabal”, founded the act Tears For Fears. “Halfway Pleased” is the latest solo album from Smith, and Europeans have actually had to pleasure of familiarizing themselves with the album for well over a year after American audience began to have a shot. To put this is in some kind of chronology, the tracks from “Halfway Pleased” are those that were written alongside Smith’s songwriter Charlton Pettus, before Tears For Fears officially reunited and went out on tour. The first track on “Halfway Pleased” is “Perfect Day”, and immediately shows listeners the unique style of Smith.

There are links to pop acts, but the heavy use of an electronic sound gives evidence to listeners that Smith is not sitting in the past – while a number of tracks feel influenced by acts like The Beatles, there are hints of more current acts, including God Lives Underwater, Joseph Arthur, and Black Box Recorder present in the tracks of “Halfway Pleased”. “Seven of Sundays” is one of the early hits for Smith, and this is not due to its rapid acceptance of the pop genre. Rather, the track has a slinky nature, one that takes up the standards previously brought the fore by acts like Tears For Fears and Spandau Ballet. The sound has been updated and modernized, and what results is the post-modern, cold but catchy sound that pervades current charting music in the United Kingdom. The title track starts off slowly, but the unity of the keyboard and Smith’s vocals will rapidly endear the track to anyone listening. This slow pacing gives Smith the opportunity to show the nuance and skill of eir performance, while showing that each track on “Halfway Pleased” will give listeners something new and exciting with which to familiarize themselves.

It has been nearly 30 years since Smith founded Tears For Fears, and I have no doubt that the reunion will have huge audiences waiting for their chance to see the band live. I wish that each individual at one of these shows would have the chance to listen to Smith, as what is present during “Halfway Pleased” is stellar. Any of the 15 cuts from “Halfway Pleased” could chart, and “Greatest Divide” should be an example to anyone that wants to do a soft and smooth track that has a razor’s edge hiding just underneath.

Top Tracks: Two, Addict

Rating: 7.1/10

Curt Smith – Halfway Pleased / 2008 KOOK / 15 Tracks / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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