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Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring CD (album) cover

THE COLOUR OF SPRING

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

3.64 | 124 ratings

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Pnoom!
4 stars Rating: B+

Talk Talk's third album of five, The Colour of Spring is that proverbial middle child. The first two albums are synth pop (very good synth pop, for the record), and the latter two albums are among the most experimental, sublime pieces of music ever recorded. Stuck in between is The Colour of Spring, which is ostensibly synth pop, but which is far more experimental than its predecessors (though not nearly as experimental as Spirit of Eden or Laughing Stock). Like all proverbial middle children, it is overlooked, and while this is understandable, seeing as it came before two mind-blowing masterpieces that have gone on to overshadow it, it's also deplorable, since it's a phenomenal record.

Despite being synth pop on the surface, the songs tend to be fairly long (relative to others in the genre), averaging over five minutes per song, and nearly reaching seven minutes on "Living in Another World" and topping eight minutes in the closing "Time It's Time". The music itself has the hallmarks of synth pop: synth themes (obviously), fairly slow, slightly bouncy drumbeats, and reserved guitar that occasional breaks out into an excellent solo. Mark Hollis' vocals are fragile and emotional (as always), and they perfectly suit the music.

There aren't any weak songs on this album (though "April 5th" and "Chameleon Day" are both of slightly lower quality than the other six tracks), and there are plenty of highlights. The three opening tracks are among the greatest opening trios of songs I know, culminating in the amazing "Life's What You Make It", which has a bunch of great melodies and a wonderful floating chorus. The closing "Time It's Time" is the best song on the CD, however, sticking marginally to synth pop but branching out with some experimental touches that would go on to feature strongly on their later albums. Also worth noting is the uptempo bundle of fun that is "Living in Another World." In addition, though it's one of the weaker efforts on the album, "Chameleon Day" is notable in that it is almost entirely in the vein that they developed on their next two efforts.

The Colour of Spring may not be the landmark that its two follow-ups have come to be, but it marks the start of the their shift away from synth pop, which culminated in Spirit of Eden and was perfected on Laughing Stock. Some aspects of this album carry over to their two masterpieces that followed, in particular the organ work that shows up only occasionally here and which is clearly the precursor to the organ on their future endeavors. This album isn't very difficult to listen to, and it isn't very difficult to get into. You can't ask for much more than that.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |

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