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THE COLOUR OF SPRING

Talk Talk

Crossover Prog


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Talk Talk The Colour Of Spring album cover
3.63 | 126 ratings | 20 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Happiness Is Easy (6:30)
2. I Don't Believe in You (5:02)
3. Life's What You Make It (4:28)
4. April 5th (5:51)
5. Living in Another World (6:58)
6. Give It Up (5:17)
7. Chameleon Day (3:20)
8. Time It's Time (8:14)

Total Time: 45:40

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Friese-Greene / piano, keyboards, mellotron, synthesizer
- Mark Hollis / organ, piano, melodica vocals
- Lee Harris / percussion, drums
- Paul Webb / bass, vocals and background vocals
- Steve Winwood / organ, keyboards
- David Roach / saxophone, Soprano saxophone
- Alan Gorrie / bass, electric bass
- The Choir / vocals
- Ian Curnow / keyboards
- Martin Ditcham / percussion
- Mark Feltham / harmonica, horn
- Robbie McIntosh / dobro, guitar
- Morris Pert / percussion
- Phil Reis / percussion
- David Rhodes / guitar
- Gaynor Sadler / harp, horn
- Danny Thompson / bass, acoustic bass

Releases information

CD EMI America E2-46228 (1986) / CD EMI 857131 (1999)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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TALK TALK The Colour Of Spring ratings distribution


3.63
(126 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
46%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

TALK TALK The Colour Of Spring reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This would be the last 'pop' influenced TALK TALK album- except for some further fine- tuning on the voice, Hollis had begun to follow his musical calling.This is where the real magic started, but it's not always easy to find. The 'modern' pop sound of the 80s dominates this album, albeit at a level of creativity that most synth-pop or new romantic bands never approached. The raw, articulate desperation and spirituality is becoming more apparent, on "Happiness is Easy", "I Don't Believe in You", and "Living in Another World". "Life's What You Make It" is a classic pop song, sounding much less dated than one would expect. The true herald of the band's imminent breakthrough is the shifting, otherworldly beauty of "April 5th"- a hushed precursor to the unique opus to come in the following two albums. It's not a prog-rock album, really, but at a time when the giants of prog were indulging in pop songs for commercial success, TALK TALK was passing them in the opposite direction- fueling their increasingly progressive musical works with the money and momentum that their pop past provided. I like the album, but it's neither the band's best nor a fully progressive work, so only two stars in this forum.

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Posted Sunday, June 27, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars I was certainly surprised to see this group popping up here ( popping they certainly were doing plenty of that in the 80's ) and I remembered not thoroughly detesting Life Is What You Make It - I think now that that this meant I liked it although I hated and still do everything to do with electronic pop and new wave . So I must've missed something back then ( I was discovering the 60's and Davis and Coltrane at the time , so I was not really paying attention - best proof is that I dicovered most 80's neo in the mid-90's) and could it be that I had categorized this wrong? So , as a proghead always venturing in the dark alleys of music , I rented this album and the two following ones to get an ear on it .

Well this is correct pop for the times , with all the major flaws of the times and sounds so dated , that even Love Me Do ( Beatles) is a more timeless piece of music than anything on this album. In itself , this album is not bad , if you are into that stuff b ut has no place here. Let's move on to the following ones. In the realm of this site , this album would diserve only one star , but it is monday morning so I will be complacent.

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Posted Monday, July 05, 2004

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I hadn't even HEARD of the band until I saw this album mentioned in an interview of RICK WRIGHT, Pink Floyd's keyboardist. On a lark I decided to give it a try--and sure enough, his taste proved extraordinary.

"The simplicity of the songs and Mark Hollis's voice make this album just incredible," Mr. Wright had explained to Record Collector magazine. "The first tune, 'Happiness Is Easy', says it all--nothing but a bass, a snare and a weird chord. That's Talk Talk all over, great songs and simplicity with a twist ... Why does it touch me? Hard to say, but it's got the feelgood factor, which all my favourite records have..."

From the second I heard the opening to "Happiness is Easy", I knew every word of Wright's was dead-on accurate. "Colour of Spring" is indeed a most appropriate title--I immediately felt a sense of gentle, uplifting power coming from the music. Although pensive, sometimes even sad in the lyrics at times, he does not go overboard with it. HOLLIS' voice becomes like a musical instrument in its own right, mingling perfectly with the open, never overpowering musical arrangements.

Particularly striking about this album are the Hammond organ played by Steve Winwood, which floats gently in the background and provides each track is atmosphere. The acoustic guitar and piano seem to dance gracefully in and out of the songs. Overall, Colour of Spring is incredibly soothing, but without putting the listener to sleep. This is the perfect album to unwind from a stressful day, and definitely a recommendation worth listening to! Maybe it's not your usual prog, but it IS good stuff!

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Posted Sunday, December 26, 2004

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars No, it's no prog, nor were Talk Talk at this time (1986) yet to become more artistic and experiencing. But this is a fantastic 'art pop' album with lots of groove and atmosphere. It has both catchy but very original tracks like "Life's What You Make It" and "Living in Another World" and hints of future Talk Talk sound in "April 5th" and "Chameleon Day", and the rest in between these poles is more or less laid back, to some degree even bluesy, songs where especially percussions and guitars sound very delicious. Both Mark Hollis as a singer and writer and the whole band had matured surprisingly from their poppier days - "It's My Life" (1984) is not a bad album either but has some boring fillers and overall more 'plastic' synth-based pop sound.____________ It's hard to say if I prefer this one or TT's two later and more complex albums. This is easier to enjoy (not a great merit in a prog forum, I know). It does have all the colours of spring! Greetings to Vlado whose 5* review is true to every word. With just a BIT more complexity on the songs - they do vary from each other but don't progress much within themselves - I'd also give 5.

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Posted Friday, April 15, 2005

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember TALK TALK being typical synth pop band in mid 1980s, but nothing wrong with it - I like good pop music too! However I never expected them to be included in Prog Archives. This album definitely is not anywhere near prog rock, but it is a good "art pop/rock". Having seen many bad music included here under the label "progressive", this comes even close to a masterpiece. Of course, I will try to be rather objective: this album is similar in some aspects to David Sylvian solo works, difference being that it is much more pop-oriented and easier to listen. There are even two major hits included, "Life's What You Make It" and "Living In Another World" which shook the radio/MTV in times of release. But I think there are enough jazzy/ambient sophisticated sounds that can satisfy a keen and patient prog listener. While I cannot really say this is "excellent addition to prog collection", I would give it 3,5 for a sucessful "pop-art" achievement that many open- minded prog rockers can still enjoy.

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Posted Thursday, May 05, 2005

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Colour of Spring was the turning point for Talk Talk. Well it was an indication that their music was moving in a more progressive direction. ' Lifes What You Make It' being the song that best illustrated the change. A great ryhtmic" incantation" almost which was equally popular on dance floors in extended mix versions.There are some great guests on this album also like Robbie MaCintosh, Morris Pert, David Rhodes which indicate the respect this band was getting and the music had a much more serious edge to it. Other great songs were ' Happiness is Easy', the sing along ' Give It Up' and ' Living In Another World'. A worthwhile addition for any aspiring prog collectors.

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Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Happiness is TALK TALK

Considered by many as their last Pop album, I'd say this is their first Art album. Gone were all cheesy dance rhythms and plastic sounds - The Colour Of Spring opens with upright bass notes and acoustic drumset groove. This is where genius of Spirit... and ...Stock began to form, especially in calm and moody tracks like Chameleon Day and April 5th. On the other hand typical TT hymnesque hits like Living in Another World and Life's What You Make It look more mature due to live instruments and rich arrangements - I'd say this is Talkies' peak (more on a commercial side though). Closing 8-min long epic Time is Time features one of the most haunting choir sections I ever heard and unusual harmony (which is typical feature for most TT songs - they weren't usual Pop, they were artsy even in terms of writing chords and melodies!). Standing closer to Art-Rock or World Music than New Wave or Synth Pop, The Colour of Spring is a living proof that the Talkies were the 80s Beatles - the most unique and thinking band, that managed to reach out from the world of show-business right to the kingdom of Music (and I don't care how strong is my pathos now). Highly recommended!

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Posted Sunday, February 03, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars While you see a chance, take it

Talk Talk's migration from a top tier electronic pop band to a group worthy of inclusion on this site began to accelerate with this 1986 release. For this album, the by now core duo of Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene (who write all the songs on this album together) is augmented by around 14 additional musicians and a choir. The most notable name among these guests is Steve Winwood, who adds organ to several tracks.

Right from the opening Happiness is easy, it is apparent that the pop influences are being pushed aside in favour of a more considered sound. The pace of the songs is settling down to a slower style, with the synthesisers being used to a much lesser extent to provide the rhythms. The band show a willingness to take any resistance to their style head on, even including a children's choir on the track. The atmospheres which will become such an integral part of the band's sound are developed further on I don't believe in you (not to be confused with I believe in you on the next album), which includes some fine guitar work. Winwood's distinctive organ sound is used to great effect here, on a song whose actual structure belies its apparent simplicity.

Most people who followed pop in the 1980's with be familiar with the single Life's what you make it. While the track does include a catchier rhythm, it is still founded in the atmospherics Hollis was beginning to make his trademark. Despite its pop roots, the song includes some decidedly jazz piano and even some good old mellotron.

April 5th and Chameleon day are the closest the album comes to the type of music which appeared on the band's final albums, and indeed on Hollis' solo release. It sounds on these tracks as if every note and every word is being carefully planned and crafted before being added to the song. The instrumentation on the latter song consists only of vocals and variophon.

It is only when we get to Living in another world that the pace picks up, the song having a similar style to Tears for Fears Pale shelter. The wall of sound chorus appeals to my tastes greatly, with Hollis' unique vocal sounds suiting the song perfectly. The closing Time it's time is a wonderfully haunting number which bursts into life on the choir infused choruses. The song is quite unique.

When considering the context of The colour of spring, we have to remember that the album was recorded during the mid 1980's, at a time when prog was decidedly out of fashion. Not only were Talk Talk prepared to investigate prog territories, they actively chose to move away from the commercial sounds which had brought them significant success. This album represents another major step in that migration. By any standard, this is a superb album. Seen in its wider context, we owe Talk Talk our respect and gratitude.

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Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars THIS SPRING HAS LITTLE COLOURS

I am still wondering why this album gets so many high ratings on a prog site.

From the very first notes of this album, I couldn't feel any change in comparison with their two previous records. Same weak and repetitive electro-pop sound mixed with a children choir (this was not a plus, I'm afraid). Hapiness Is Easy. I bet you!

At least "It's My Life" featured some great pop songs which are absent of this one. So, what's left is this rather thin effort? A mellowish and sub-par Roxy ("I Don't Believe In You"), a discotheque anthem "Life's What You Make It", or an ambient "April 5th" which only shines thanks to some fine mellotron lines.

"Give It Up" says sufficiently to avoid more of an explanation and the band will even touch the experimental atmosphere with "Chameleon Day" (no big deal though).

My likings goes to "Living In Another World" which has an upbeat flavour and has a catchy melody. Hollis also sounds more convincing and punchier than usual and the excellent harmonica adds a nice touch to it.

During this whole album, I have liked some fine keyboarding and potentially several melodies. Of prog music, there is no speak about. Three out of ten which I will upgrade (thanks to the joyful "Time It's Time", the closing number) to two stars.

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Posted Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Colour of Spring is the third album from Talk Talk. It´s with The Colour of Spring that people into experimental rock music should be able to get something out of Talk Talk´s music. There is a big change from the synth based pop music from the previous two album to this much more mature experimental rock music.

The music is still commercial and the singles from The Colour of Spring were on heavy rotation on MTV which of course led to a major sales number of the album. The Colour of Spring was a commercial succes as well as an artistic statement from Mark Hollis and co. The Colour of Spring was also my introduction to the band even though I had been trying out Laughing Stock which I found a bit too experimental at the time ( this has since changed). I have always enjoyed commercial music that had one foot in progressive music and that is just what The Colour of Spring represents.

The most known songs from The Colour of Spring are Happiness Is Easy, Life's What You Make It, Living in Another World and they are very strong compositions with lots of intriguing sounds and small parts that you wouldn´t normally hear in commercial music. The more quit and introvert songs April 5th and Chameleon Day points towards their future albums which are closer to this style than the more commercially sounding songs on The Colour of Spring.

One of the most exciting features on The Colour of Spring is the many guest musicians playing everything from percussion to horns, harps and saxes. They really add a lot to the soundscape. The music still has lots of synth but organ is the most used keyboard on the album. Talk Talk is moving towards a more organic sound. This is also the album where main composer and lead singer Mark Hollis begins to emphasise his philosophy that silence is just as important as notes in music. The music is generally very dynamic and during the most elaborate parts there are multible layers of instruments and sounds while the more quiet parts are more simple.

The musicianship is outstanding for a pop album and we´re treated to some really nice interplay and strange ideas.

The production is just as outstanding as the musicians. One of the best productions from the eighties no doubt.

The Colour of Spring has always intrigued me as it is both commercial and challenging which is a rarety. Allthough I like their even more experimental albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock more than The Colour of Spring today The Colour of Spring is still one of the best experimental pop/ rock albums from the eighties and well worth the 4 stars that I will rate it. Highly recommendable to those of you who like commercial music with a twist.

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Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars This album was a definite improvement over the previous release but the band had still a bit to go in order to fulfill their intended transitional goals.

While most art/progressive bands went from art to a more commercial sound Talk Talk followed in the steps of The Beatles and decided to do a couple of experiments on this album. While Life's What You Make It is probably the most recognized song from the batch, just like "It's My Life" from the previous album, it's by no means the best one here. I tend to favor the longer tracks especially album closers Chameleon Day which then slips into Time It's Time. This last track has for some strange reason always reminded me of Marillion's The Space, or maybe it's the other way around.

Thanks to the more commercial sound of the first part of this album The Colour Of Spring still managed to become a commercial success upon its release and the band's record label didn't notice the transition that has began to take shape. Once the next album arrived they definitely never saw it coming!

***** star songs: Living In Another World (6:58) Time It's Time (8:14)

**** star songs: Life's What You Make It (4:28) Chameleon Day (3:20)

*** star songs: Happiness Is Easy (6:30) I Don't Believe In You (5:02) April 5th (5:51) Give It Up (5:17)

Total rating: 3,84

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Posted Saturday, December 05, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Back when Talk Talk released their first two albums, I was in my sympho infancy and raving over all things Floyd, Rush, ELP and Yes. So Talk Talk were the epitome of despicable music to me, the kind of stuff my sister listened to. Yuk! But that's a long time ago and when I stumbled upon their later albums at the end of the 80's, I couldn't believe my ears. This was an entirely different band, full of emotion, rich instrumentation, freely flowing compositions. This was Music with a capital M. The Colour of Spring is the first Talk Talk album that inspires for a song by song overview, which is always a good sign.

Happiness is Easy is a beautiful and amazing song. An entrancing minimalist rhythm that could have come off a Peter Gabriel or a Can album sets the pace. The instrumentation mainly sticks to laid-back drum and bass with touches of acoustic guitar and piano. There are a few swelling outburst with organ, saxophone and even a children's choir. It's still a verse chorus song at heart but at 6.30 minutes, that structure has become less visible, music has taken over. I Don't Believe In You follows a similar pattern. An entrancing slow groove, captivating melodies and a tasty and inventive approach to instrumentation. It's hard to believe how these young guys matured in a few years. Of course an array of guest musicians helps out a hand.

Life's What You Make It is the best known song from this album and one of my favourites, those few strokes of lead guitar are too good to be true. I wouldn't call this song commercial though as it didn't follow the dominating sound or the conventions of pop that were dominating the scene then. It's always interesting to see bands doing unexpected and new things and still reach huge audiences, in spite of the attempts of record labels to serve people the same dish every day.

April 5th and Chameleon Day are historic moments, especially in respect to the development of post-rock. This couldn't' be further removed from anything else from 1986, the vocal melodies have become more of a suggestion then a repeated phrase, almost as if Hollis improvises over the abstract sounds and the slow shuffle. The two following albums would expand this foundation, but here is where Talk Talk had their revelation and found their true identity. Of course nothing stands entirely on its own in art, so this can sure be traced back to jazz and experimental rock, but still there isn't much in my pre-86 rock catalogue that sounds like this.

Living In Another World and Give It Up are more up-beat and slightly commercial songs. While adequate they bring down the average level a bit. Time It's Time is more adventurous and original.

This album combines the catchy song writing of the first albums with the sophisticated arrangements, the originality and experimentation of the years to come. For that reason it's the most accomplished and the essential Talk Talk album for me. 4.5 stars.

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Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you've heard "Spirit Of Eden" this album will come as no surprise to you, as the direction toward Eden began right here. While I would call this a transitional album I would say it without any negativity whatsoever. I definitely prefer this to "Laughing Stock" and consider it in the same league as "Spirit Of Eden". I suggest you read Bonnek's closing remarks in regards to this album as he says it much better than I could. Cool to hear Steve Winwood on here playing organ and keyboards, as well as Morris Pert on percussion. Both play significant roles on this album.

"Happiness Is Easy" also features a children's choir. Intricate sounds to start as vocals arrive before a minute. Synths follow then the choir. Sax before 4 minutes.The bass, drums, percussion, vocals and piano follow. It kicks back in with organ. Excellent track. "I Don't Belive In You" has this relaxed beat with bass as vocals, guitar and organ all eventually join in. "Life's What You Make It" was a big hit and a favourite track of mine.The atmospheric guitar, beat and vocals all make this song what it is. Piano before 2 1/2 minutes. "April 5th" has these intricate sounds that come and go with reserved vocals. Piano a minute in. Atmosphere before 3 1/2 minutes.

"Living In Another World" is more uptempo and fuller as the vocals join in. Harmonica comes and goes in this one. Some nice bass 2 1/2 minutes in as well. "Give It Up" has a beat with vocals and piano standing out. I like the bass and organ before 3 minutes. Catchy tune. "Chameleon Day" has no real melody to it as vocals and other sounds come and go. Thankfully it's the shortest track by far "Time It's Time" has a beat with percussion and bass as vocals join in. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in then it settles back a minute later as contrasts continue.

Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene did the unexpected here and came out smelling like roses. The colour of spring indeed.

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Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars On The Colour of Spring the synthpop Talk Talk had previously been known for mingles with the classic jazz influences which would inform the band's later avant-garde experiments to produce a baroque pop masterpiece which hints at the post-rock prototypes the band would soon invent. Paul Webb's vocals combine with the choir to provide a perfect balance between slick mainstream appeal and hints of something more than that, whilst the intricate, layered musical backing already shows the combination of improvisation and perfectionism which would be the key to the band's later work. An intriguing and enchanting album, and perhaps the Talk Talk album which reaches the closest compromise between accessibility and experimentalism.

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Posted Thursday, December 08, 2011

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 famiart=ity 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.

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Posted Sunday, January 27, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is one of those great records from the mid-eighties that most people seem to forget as they were sadly too lost with the likes of Duran Duran and so on. Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring sounds like nothing else, a world away from their previous albums of synthesised new-romanticism. It's someth ... (read more)

Report this review (#510272) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#169835) | Posted by Pnoom! | Sunday, May 04, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Clearly the turning point in Talk Talk's career. The music is still pop, but with the jazzy/bluesy/ambient moments that will characterize their next albums. A large number of guest musicians help giving more density to the songs, though each song in itself is quite simply structured. I would t ... (read more)

Report this review (#76149) | Posted by zaxx | Monday, April 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of the best albums I have and it has that magical touch of traditional instruments playing in a modern way. David Rhodes is giving an excellent signature to this record, but what I like is how Talk Talk free´d itself from it´s own. The records following up this one, are beautifull b ... (read more)

Report this review (#48544) | Posted by peter lensvelt | Monday, September 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is incerdible what a journy TALK TALK had made in the 80s. From the synthy new romantic pop such as It's my life or Such a shame, through very influential and exciting songs in Colour of springs to the silence and meditation in the two last albums. And all these periods are worthy being lis ... (read more)

Report this review (#31135) | Posted by | Thursday, March 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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