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Talk Talk - The Party's Over CD (album) cover

THE PARTY'S OVER

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

2.71 | 96 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Actually, the party has only just started

Those, like myself, who did not know better, will have been surprised to find Talk Talk listed on this site, and appearing under a prog category. Superficially, Talk Talk are perceived as a band from the 1980's who made a few pleasant pop songs, then disappeared. The reality however is refreshingly reassuring. Contrary to the path taken by some other prog bands (no names required), Talk Talk developed their prog credentials over a period of time, by developing their significant skills as creators of fine pop into something far more sophisticated, and indeed challenging.

We should not get ahead of ourselves though, for this album constitutes Talk Talk's first release. It is of course impossible to talk about Talk Talk without mentioning the unique talents of Mark Hollis. Hollis may nominally be merely the lead vocalist, but he is also the band leader and principal songwriter. This allows him to craft his songs around his supremely atmospheric and melodic voice.

At this stage, I do need to temper some expectations. As made clear above, Talk Talk gradually moved into prog. This took some time to achieve, and in all honesty it did not start here. "The party's over" is a well put together sophisticated pop album for the 1980's. Unlike other artists who moved in a similar field though (such as Godley and Crème), Talk Talk managed to avoid the pitfalls of trying to be too clever. The music here may be largely unchallenging, but it is straightforward and honest.

The band name is unusually, but not particularly imaginatively, taken from the first track on the album. There are many bands from the 80's who ploughed the electronic furrow who come to mind when listening to the song; Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears, and Depeche Mode are three of the more familiar ones. The song sets the tone for the album, which is simply a succession of well presented pop numbers. Hollis' voice certainly sets the songs apart from their peers, and while the synth sounds hardly push any boundaries, they are melodic and appealing.

Some songs are more obvious candidates for singles, "Today" being one of Talk Talk's best known hits. The hit potential is however entirely down to the hook adopted on the track. Structurally, the songs are all from the same mould.

Those who are serious about investigating the history of this great band must start here, and follow their progress through each succeeding album.

The remastered CD version of "The party's over" sounds excellent. At a mere 35 minutes running time though, and with no additional tracks, it is all too brief. Perhaps the opportunity should have been taken to combine the album with the following "It's my life" onto a single disc.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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