If you didn’t know that synth-pop pioneers Tears For Fears are prepping a 30th-anniversary edition of their essential new wave debut, The Hurting, well, maybe you don’t like the 1980s as much as you always claim to. The box set is a monster—you get the original album, a disc of singles, B-Sides, mixes and rarities, a third disc of BBC sessions and a DVD with live performances. But this isn’t just a trip down memory lane with some grade-A melancholics.
“Having appreciated artists like Kanye West, Katy Perry, Kimbra, Nas, Gary Jules/Michael Andrews, Adam Lambert & Dizzee Rascal covering & sampling our songs over the past years,” the duo wrote, “we agreed that some reciprocal cross-generational love was in order.” To that end, they’ve given us a take on “Ready To Start,” from Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.
Equal parts vintage canned strings and contemporary breakbeat, TFF make the song all their own—even the lyrics sound like something they’d come up with. As the vocals ratchet higher, they cleave to some distortion, as if Smith and Orzabal are being sucked through the interfaces of their machines. To take a listen, is to take a step outside of time.