With Christmas fast approaching, ‘tis the season for boxsets, deluxe editions, and best of compilations. And so it is that influential English synth-pop outfit Tears for Fears release the sixteen track collection, Rule the World: The Greatest Hits.
From their 1983 début, The Hurting, through to 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, every album in the Tears for Fears back catalogue receives representation on this collection – even the band’s mid-nineties releases, Elemental and Raoul and the Kings of Spain, which were essentially solo efforts from front-man Roland Orzabal. Being a greatest hits compilation, it is unsurprising to find Tears for Fears’ two most successful songs, Everybody Wants to Rule the World and the infectious Shout, included at the top of the record. Mad World, which proved to be the group’s breakthrough and earned renewed public interest in 2003 when a cover version was featured in the film, Donnie Darko.
Of the sixteen tracks that comprise Rule the World two are brand new songs, I Love You But I’m Lost – which has been released as a single – and Stay. Both songs sit unobtrusively among the older tracks, with I Love You But I’m Lost features a catchy beat and tonally matches the group’s early output, while Stay goes for a more contemporary electro-pop sound matched with a plaintive mood. Rule the World exhibits an excellent flow from start to finish, aided by the fact that the songs aren’t arranged chronologically, offering a reasonable introduction to the works of Tears for Fears for those just discovering the classic group, although established fans may require more enticement than two new songs.