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


Talk Talk


Crossover Prog

3.74 | 186 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Whereas a list of prog bands who ultimately veered into overt commercial territory would fill several screens, the analogous compendium of popular bands abandoning commercial aspirations would fit on the tip of my pinkie. In fact I would venture to say that most of us have simply assumed without a first or second thought that this never even happens. That is, unless we are fortunate enough to encounter Exhibit A, the enigmatic consummate 1980s new wave group TALK TALK.

Crafters of the catchy but annoying hit "It's My Life" several years earlier, with "The Colour of Spring" TALK TALK began to transition to an ambient experimental style that they would fully adopt on the following 2 albums. This album is more sophisticated pop than crossover prog, with some of the tired qualities of earlier efforts infusing "Life's What You Make it" and "Give it Up". On the other hand, "I don't Believe in You" and "Living in Another World" generate acoustically layered atmospheres, with stimulating use of guitars and harmonica, and less emphasis on new wave rhythms. But it's really "April 5th" that instantiates the mellifluous mannerisms of this group's later work and heightens the techniques already being plied by DAVID SYLVIAN. Delicate but not withering, the fusion of keys, winds, vocals, and guitars is mesmerizing. One might argue that its effect here is more pronounced simply because of its more bouncy neighbours.

Interim works like this can only be evaluated after the fact, but often become my favorite output by the artist. CLANNAD's "Macalla", ELOY's "Dawn", STRAWBS' "Bursting at the Seams", RENAISSANCE's "A Song for All Seasons", MIKE OLDFIELD's "QE2", HORSLIPS' "The Book of Invasions", MOSTLY AUTUMN's "The Last Bright Light", are among the multitudes. While I don't yet possess the same famiarity with the TALK TALK catalogue, the question is always the same...does the turnabout mark the beginning of the end or the breakthrough to new territories? For the answer, let's talk talk later.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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