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Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden CD (album) cover

SPIRIT OF EDEN

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

4.09 | 254 ratings

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Fitzcarraldo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The terms 'minimal' and 'understated' describe this music well. I can either listen to it intently or have it playing in the background; in both cases it evokes in me a slightly gloomy feeling. The silence between notes is sometimes deafening. The beat is often slow - sometimes very slow - and the music often subdued, although there are crescendos here and there. A wide range of instruments, classical and modern, are put to good use (Is that Nigel "Four Seasons" Kennedy credited on violin, by any chance?), although sometimes they sound cluttered. Chelmsford Cathedral choir is even used on 'I Believe In You'. Hollis' singing is indistinct but his voice is full of pathos and his singing forms a very important element of the music. The electric guitar on 'The Rainbow', my favourite track on the album, is just beautiful (actually, so is Hollis' singing on that track, and indeed some of the melodic phrases). The parts with ponderous piano or other instrument playing quietly while Hollis warbles quietly are probably what please me most throughout the album.

The other tracks don't excite me as much as the first (well, the first two, possibly). They're all very atmospheric, and decent enough, but I don't find them particularly memorable and they don't satisfy the expectation raised in me by the first track. In fact, I find some of the music grates slightly (the busy parts of 'Desire', for example, and Hollis' voice on 'Inheritance', which I feel at times is just a little too whiny).

By the time the album reaches 'I believe In You' and 'Wealth' it just seems to be more of the same to me, and I start to feel I've had my fill, although I find the quieter singing over organ and piano on 'Wealth' pleasing again.

The cover artwork is arty but stylish and pleasing. The lyrics in the CD booklet are printed in tiny handwriting that I find very difficult to decipher. Why on Earth do record companies do things like this?

I have to be honest and say that I probably wouldn't replace this album if my copy were to go astray. Overall I find the music good - the first track, gorgeous - but, to me, the album is not a masterpiece. I'm not entirely convinced that it would make an "excellent addition to any progressive music collection" (4 stars) either, so I'm settling for 3 stars (Good, but not essential). However, judging by the seven reviews preceding mine, I'm out on a limb.

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |

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