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3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 15, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Mayfield by Curt Smith

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. What Are We Fighting For
  2. Sorry Town
  3. Jasmine's Taste
  4. Reach Out
  5. Trees
  6. Mother England
  7. Snow Hill
  8. I Don't Want To Be Around
  9. Sun King
  10. Gone Again
  11. Trees (feat. Janice Whaley)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 15, 2011)
  • Label: KOOK Media LLC
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • ASIN: B005MKT5JU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When Tears For Fears broke up, the absence of recordings by Curt Smith made many wonder, was Roland Orzabal truly the creative force behind the band as he claimed? It turns out Orzabal's former partner was simply regrouping. Figuratively and literally.
What came from that break is Mayfield, a five man band fronted by Curt Smith. And for those who miss the vibe of TFF when it was an Orzabal/Smith collaboration as opposed to what its current incarnation as Roland's solo gig, Mayfield will satisfy that longing.
The disc starts off strong. The opening track "What Are We Fighting For" (inspired by a comment overheard during an argument between Smith's current songwriting partner and his partner's wife) has the "old skool" TFF sound. Not quite the BIG TFF sound, but the melodic/harmonic/swirling thing with nice lead guitar riffs and tasty hooks that the duo did so well. Even so, it's NOT TFF. And that's not a bad thing.
"Sorry Town" follows with an intro sounding uncannily similar to Pale Shelter. The track quickly evolves into it's own hook laden driving groove.
The release is dotted with nice ballads and more uptempo, slightly edgier tracks like "Reach Out" which is a bit of both. Simple rock jams and lush, fully orchestrated tracks like the poignant "I Don't Want To Be Around," a song of manic depression. Of course there is "Sun King," the obligatory bad blood track where Curt lets off some steam about Orzabal (who recorded his own bad-blood track earlier on the post-Smith TFF release). "Sun King" is bitter and funny all at once taking a swipe at the Smith-perceived arrogance and self importance of his former collaborator.
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Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The entire album is a huge bonus for fans who have longed for this re-release. Each song just "sounds" really smooth...it's a great treasure for those who have never heard Curt Smith's voice sans the exciting Tears for Fears brilliant elements. It's a very calming album...something you can appreciate on road trips and when you want time alone. Each song seems to contain a rich situational history and is thought provoking. It should be the soundtrack to a movie...perfect background for complex times in a simple place. The additional track "Trees" featuring Janice Whaley is one you'll have on repeat for sure. One thing people must understand is this is NOT Tears for Fears... it is a drastic contrast to the group's sound. Again, a great treasure for those who like to collect solo albums from the artists of "that band." I've got several of Curt's solo projects as I do Roland's (the other half of TFF) 1 and they're both incredible! As much as I didn't at first understand their time apart for many years I came to appreciate the solo works they released and cherish them greatly as they allow one to be fully immersed in their individual talent. You come to appreciate TFF even more because you can clearly see where each outstanding contribution is coming from. This album is a must... another huge addition to their "entire" series of magnificent work. (why not 5 stars?... Sun King is tremendous and beautiful but bittersweet. I almost wish it had been left off the re-release... still, how could one possibly exclude it due to the delicate, yet haunting lyrics that linger days on end...) I'll say this and leave it; There's nothing B-rate about this album. Curt Smith is a phenomenal artist with a 5-star personality who deserves endless awards for his modern approach to music as well as the final product he delivers. This album is GOLD!
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Format: Audio CD
I am a huge TFF fan. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are my favorite band. No one else does it for me the way that Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith did, and by the way this album has affected me, the way they still do.

TFF fans have been divided over the years, depending on who in the group they thought had the most talent. For years, I was in the "Roland" camp. "Soul On Board," Curt's '93 release, had a glossy finish, and a handful of solid adult-contemporary pop songs. And that's not a cut-down. But, the other half of the album was far too weak to make me believe in his side of the story.

This release has placed me firmly in the middle again. I no longer side between Roland or Curt. I just simply can't. I will say that, just as Roland's continuation of TFF took on a different direction without Curt, this album is different than Curt's work with TFF. But it still has an amazing use of melody and some truly stunning vocal work.

Mayfield is simply amazing. It's Curt's "Elemental." Lush production, but not overly so, accompanies songs like the biting "What Are We Fighting For" and the jaw-dropping "Mother England," also the highlight of this remarkable work. Elsewhere, ballads like "Snowhill" and "Trees" shows that Curt is able to get soft, without getting sappy and sugary-sweet.

This album is sadly very underrated. I would argue that it is one of the best of the past decade, even without my affinity for anything TFF. It just is simply that good. Put it up against McCartney's best, or the warmth of XTC,... it would still shine brightly. Anyone who appreciates solid, well written pop, performed by a velvety-smooth voice will appreciate this stunning album.
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