I listen to a lot of New Wave, but Tears for Fears just wasn't one of those bands that I really got into. Well, I was surprised to learn that Gary Jules's Mad World, it's been a cover this whole time! I've been lied to, I've been tricked, this is unacceptable.
The original is by Tears For Fears. They're like the English version of Depeche Mode... wait, Depeche Mode is English. They're the other English version of Depeche Mode. Originally they were known as Graduate, Tears for Fears what started by Roland Orzabel and Curt Smith.
Got some eighties drum machine going. Those lonely vocals come in, so forlorn and desperate. He's all up into his feels. The synthesizer comes in, sounding dark and dreary. The sound picks up for the chorus, or prechorus... but backs off for the actual chorus, "maaaaaad worllld!" The second verse has more meat to it musically, which is good for progression. But what's with that hit run down, after he says "Happy birthday, happy birthday." it's hilarious, "dada-dada-dadadada!" Just out of no where. Okay, whatever.
I mean instruments are really interesting sounding. You have a little since breakdown after the second chorus and the last prechorus has a very percussive energetic sound to it. I like how this song is put together. The outro with the synth that clashes is a little annoying.
Gary Jules, he's a musician. He did a cover of Mad World for a popular movie. Everyone, including myself were like, "This guys brilliant. It's so deep, so emotional." But he didn't write Mad World. But he's version is definitely a bit different.
So it starts in with the piano intro, the only instrumentation through the song is the piano and Jules's vocals. His voices is quite haunting, more so then Tears for Fears vocalist Roland Orzabal. Sounds like a cello eventually comes in, instrumentally it's very bleak and that makes for a much deeper reflection of the song. Some effects on the vocals in the end but this song is a lot more consistent then the original. Without the breakdown/bridge bit it's a good deal shorter.
Which song makes for the better version? Gary Jules has taken these lyrics that reflect the confusion and frustration and brought them together with a musical arrangement that is much more fitting then the original version. It sounds much darker, bleaker, deeper then what Tears for Fears created. But perhaps it's gone too far in that direction. There's is something fun and snappy about the original. I don't know if I like the original better, they both had there merits and I can enjoy them both. I can see how one could like one but dislike the other.
Today's going to have to be a tie I'm afraid.