Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock CD (album) cover


Talk Talk


Crossover Prog

3.99 | 345 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars With the release of Spirit of Eden, Talk Talk had effectively launched themselves into controversy? was Spirit of Eden a pretentious glorification of noodling or a sonically enthralling masterpiece? With critical ratings ranging all over the board, any band might have tried to tame the beast and create something more accessible, more encompassing of their previous works? any band might have lost confidence in their vision. The release of Laughing Stock showed that the band did not waver. Laughing Stock presents a darker, more confident addition to Talk Talk's catalog.

The opener "Myrrhman" is a difficult listen for some. The arrhythmic elements may seem like they have no rhyme or reason. But it is the creation of an illusion that the band never breaks throughout the entire album? an illusion of its own environment, its own setting. Throughout the album, there are moments of what some might call "noodling." As engineer Phill Brown stated, the album was "recorded by chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub idea." But, by entertaining the illusion of "Myrrhman," the entire album becomes a place and time that is a thrill to explore. The next two tracks reflect the leveled tone retained from Spirit of Eden. "I reckon luck sees us the same/ I reckon love deals us the same" sings frontman Mark Hollis on "Ascension Day." This track along with "After the Flood" reduces the world of Laughing Stock to a flat plane. The jarring, lonely "Taphead" presents the album's lowest moment. The harmonica and trumpet trade-off is like a scoff at Spirit of Eden opener "Rainbow." "Taphead" is an abyss, leaving the listener in the dark as to what could possibly come next. The next track, "New Grass" stands the most emotionally-captivating the album, the glorious release. Gorgeous chorales are played on pipe organ and piano out of time over a groove that won't let you rest. Strings crescendo over major chords and a joyous tambourine groove. The track returns the listener to the ambiguity of the first half of the album and that ambiguity is cemented by the sparse closer "Runeii." Through this final track, the album lets the listener back down gently and reconciles its imaginary setting with reality.

By chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub, Talk Talk have created an excellent album, and improvement upon Spirit of Eden, if one is willing to let it create its illusion. 4.5 out of 5.

Polymorphia | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this TALK TALK review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.