Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal is a musical actor, an abstract poet, and a music connoisseur. His lush lyrical imagery has provided vivid imagism and an emotion sparked from his own inquisitive nature since fronting one of the '80s' biggest acts. Creative differences and signature arrogance allowed he and bandmate Curt Smith's musical magic to dissolve after 1989's The Seeds of Love, making Orzabal's solo days fronting Tears for Fears to be disenchanting and practically forced. And despite rumor of the duo coming back together to write and perform under the moniker that made them a staple among the charts, Orzabal issued his first proper debut album just after the dawn of the millennium. Tomcats Screaming Outside illustrates Orzabal's bright mind with classic philosophical disposition; however, he's honest and eager, no longer concerned with the past. He refrains from psychologically picking his mind apart; rather, he's plucking from social indifference and its want for quick desire. His focus on sharp electronics and the uncomplicated nature of songs such as "Hypnoculture" and "For the Love of Cain" present Orzabal's newfound comfort. He's still ambitious, yes, but not arrogantly so. "Dandelion" grazes with nasty riffs, leaving Orzabal to twist his large vocals to stretch alongside them. "Ticket to the World" and "Maybe Our Days Are Numbered" ironically capture Orzabal's fixation with a greater love, another hurt, and a life outside of what everyone already knows. Tomcats Screaming Outside aptly defines his burgeoning creative desire as well as his hungry nature to write a song that reaches outside the heart and beyond the mind. The overall composition of this album is tough, a bit young with musical instrumentation, but a decent look at Orzabal's keen talent as both a singer and a songwriter. He's still got it.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson