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Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden CD (album) cover


Talk Talk


Crossover Prog

4.16 | 422 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Talk Talk are Mark Hollis, Tim Friese-Greene and a lot of session men, firsts Paul Webb and Lee Harris, and musicians of chamber music.

After two minutes and 15 seconds of atmospheric music, I would say ambient music, with sounds that combine rock with jazz and with a chamber ensemble, the distorted, croaking electric guitar and the percussion start, and finally Hollis' voice arrives: this is the beginning of one of the most beautiful facades of a Lp in the history of rock.

As Piero Scaruffi rightly wrote, it is a music that proceeds slowly, as if it were to overcome a very strong inertia, such that to develop a musical phrase the sound struggles to articulate the disease, it is held back, then finally the fuse lights up, and in this case Hollis's phenomenally sounding electric guitar and his voice, which in fact delineates two rhythmic verses but slow and a refrain where the sound becomes acute and angelic, and as rightly happens after two verses and a refrain, the solo arrives, which here consists of chamber music on which Hollis's croaking guitar rises, to make a sound orgasm that for a few seconds is almost unbearable. We are at the highest levels of contemporary music - Rainbow: rating 9+.

Finally, Hollis's voice returns, and the song fades, with the same initial inertia, the voice just a whisper, and begins, mixed with the first, the second song, which proceeds with the same inertia: in the beginning only dissonant brass sounds and trumpets, then the guitar and percussion starts

Again we are faced with two stanzas and two refrains, where this time Hollis' voice sings full and dramatic, and is followed by a dissonant loud din, then the trumpets, the song is easier and more linear than the previous one, but it preserves exactly the same sound as guitar, percussion, voice, with chamber music in the background, reaching however much more noisy and dramatic peaks - Eden: rating 8,5.

Then, mixed with the previous one, Desire begins, with a threatening slow guitar riff, this time we are faced with an impending rhythm, which foreshadows a sound explosion that happens shortly after: voice and drums act as a theater for a climax again almost unbearable, cacophonic, noisy, which it describes a disintegration of personality, a destructive landscape. Voice and guitar, with keyboard background, start again, and then give life to the second sound explosion, which does not stop, continues with tribal rhythm (thanks to a great Lee Harris) and distorted guitar. Crossover rock has nothing to do with it, the true prog nature of Talk Talk is post-rock mixed with free jazz and slow core. Paroxysmal ending, which then returns to the initial slow guitar riff - Desire: rating: 9.

Rating side A: 10. One of the best in the history of rock (not only prog-rock) music.

Inheritance (5:23) is a song that again has a dilated structure verse and refrain, where Hollis' voice goes on high notes, in a sweet way, then there is an instrumental interlude of chamber music, and then the voice starts again, which reaches its climax when Hollis puts more intensity into it. We are still at excellent levels, and we have maintained a good level of pathos, but the sound is different from that of the first side, it is less electric, and softer, Rating 8+.

Then a rhythmic song starts, I Believe in You, the first and the only one in which the drum snare keeps the rhythm from beginning to end, with keyboards in the background, and instrumental interlude similar to those of the previous record. This is the single of the album, the most commercial song, however slow and meditative, and has completely lost the dramatic explosions of the voice, we are in the field of serenity, spiritual, celestial music. The level is still good but it has become more normal. Rating 7,5/8.

The second side has three unmixed songs and with a distinct sound from each other, unlike the first and the quality drops slowly, it is no longer extraordinary as that of the first. In particular, the free jazz and chamber music arrangement is lost, to arrive at a more sober and traditional one, the last song, Wealth, is in fact only voice and keyboards, and takes place on three skinny verses plus chorus,

Talk Talk lose their arrangement orchestral and become minimalist, risking becoming a bit monotonous. It is a piece that anticipates Hollis' usual work. The song is not bad, indeed is good but the three-minute fading instrumental tail is completely useless. Rating 7+

The second side is not beautiful as the first: rating 8,5.

I can't give 10/10 to this album for the second side but anyway, overall, despite not having three songs mixed, the second facade is also coherent, and gradually goes towards a more sober and minimalist music that remains of an excellent quality for 5 songs over 6, so ... absolute masterpiece,

Rating 9,5/10 .

Five Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |


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