After seeing live music last night that was very, very good but also very earnest, I am compelled to return to my safe harbor of cynicism and irony, dredged from years of absorbing and loving things that clash instead of meld.
The beauty of TFF's "Mad World" is that, to explain it like we're in kindergarten, the lyrics don't go with the sounds. Or at least I want to think that is what Roland was going for and is not necessarily the product of the contemporary trend of making music by generating bright sounds out of machines. Apparently there are a lot of covers of this song; most appear to be by dark European outfits ascribing to varying degrees of rock (punk, goth, etc). The most famous are warbled by teevee singing sensations and sonically superimposed over scenes of tense cadaver inspection and melancholy family introspection, and these are the ones that don't capture the space between light and dark where the song lives. You know, where it's kind of funny, and kind of sad.