I KNOW, given my position as an indie artist my ‘Desert Island’ pick should be an indie album. I would certainly rank any work by Fendehlene, Portobello Express, Rose Alaimo, January Fire, Postindustrial Poets or… well the list is just TOO long, as being the lone disc I would keep in my company when isolated on an island. 

In my case, I’d have to go with one that has some closer connection and is more mainstream. 

Now someone of my age might say their desert island disc is AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE by R.E.M. or TOGETHER ALONE by Crowded House. Both are fine choices, but because of recent events, my desert island disc is Tears For Fears’ newest album ‘THE TIPPING POINT.’ There are two main reasons for this pick. 

The first is that the first single from the record, which is the title track, is especially poignant. Roland Orzabal penned this song following the death of his wife. This song came out right around the time of my mother’s passing. Given her life experience, the lines, “Life is cruel, life is tough, life is crazy then it all turns to dust…” about summed it up. 

Our last conversation ended with her telling me to, “be happy.” It just so happened that there is a song on the new TFF album called ‘Please Be Happy.’ It’s like the album was written for me at this moment in time. There are so many reasons that are relevant to this place and time that make THE TIPPING POINT the perfect desert island disc (for me).

The opener, ‘No Small Thing’ gives a touch of what’s real, “when I’m tired of the bright lights, when I’m tired of the wine… when I’m forty years older, when I’m wrinkled and wise, I will trade all my liberty for that look in your eyes,” which comes at a time in my life when I’ve hung up my political activism and resigned to just do the best for me and mine.

My reasons for this pick have been quite sombre so far, but there is a brighter reason behind my selection of THE TIPPING POINT.

My youngest daughter who is a lover of music at the tender age of 8, also loves the music on this album and is joining me in seeing TFF in concert in Indianapolis on June 17. I know it will be an influential evening for her, hearing the songs she’s heard on this album along with the other classic TFF tunes she’s grown up on. 

THE TIPPING POINT is a record that separates one generation of my family and unites another. It is certainly not a relationship with a record that I saw coming. This is why I will make sure it is sealed in a plastic sleeve and that I have a solar powered turntable with me should I find myself flying across the wide Pacific Ocean on a stormy night.

Music | Brian Jin (

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