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


Talk Talk


Crossover Prog

3.85 | 262 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars With their third album, Talk Talk completes the process that saw them start with the synth - pop of the debut album and move on to the second album with less synthetic and more traditional sounds, in particular with regards to drums and keyboards. The voice of Mark Hollis, nasal and dramatic, characterizes more and more the group which in this case sports the piano in the foreground instead of the keyboards, a nice round drum sound, the solid bass of Lee Harris, and often the organ of Steve Winwood and the guitar of Robbie McIntosh and David Rhodes.

Talk Talk now are: Mark Hollis (composer, multiinstrumentalist and singer) and Tim Friese-Greene (composer, multiinstrumentalist and producer) plus a group of 15 session-men.

1. Happiness Is Easy (6:30) is played by piano, electric piano, keyboards, organ (Steve Winwood), guitar, bass, acoustic bass, drums (I guess drum machine by Lee Harris), two kind of percussions, cello, vocals and chorus vocals of the children from the School Of Miss Speake. Wow, what a great production! with an arrangement of this type, the song takes on a thickness, a stratification of the timbre and of the various instruments that was previously unknown to Talk Talk and that leads them straight to experimental, avant-garde music, making them come out of the commercial one. Rating 8,5.

2. I Don't Believe in You (5:02) vocals, bass and drums and percussion, piano, electric guitar, organ (Winwood), harp, saxophone. Electric guitar solo. This is a piano ballad with sophysticated arrangement. Rating 8.

3. Life's What You Make It (4:28) This is the single of the record. Drums, percussion, piano, electric guitar and... no bass. From the beginning to the end, the same phrase on the piano. easy to remember. Static song, which always repeats the same pattern, and is based only on Hollis' singing, the piano phrase, and the acid guitar, all on a carpet of drums and percussion. Charming but very repetitive. Rating 7.

4. April 5th (5:51) Here she comes... Hollis' voice, piano, percussion, variophon synth, saxophone on the background and... no bass. Another strange sound. hypnotic, nocturnal, somnambulist song, with too many percussions in evidence, which will be the bridge to the masterpiece "Spirit of Eden". Rating 7,5/8.

End of Side A.

5. Living in Another World (6:58) Absolute masterpiece, piano ballad with great work of the rhythmic section and with a paroxysmal, orgiastic, mesmeric atmosphere that reaches peaks of authentic and difficult to forget pathos. We can hear again, for the last time, the organ played by Winwood and then, there is the harmonica played by Feltham, fantastic, and, most of all, Hollis' voice, unforgettable. Rating 9.

6. Give It Up (5:17) Good bass, drums, and keyboards and acoustic guitar, and then Hollis' voice for this piano ballad, very emphatic, rhetorical, but certainly suggestive, only excessively repetitive and long. We are near to a jazz-pop song. Rating 7,5.

7. Chameleon Day (3:20) this is not a real song but a piece of it made of variophon synth, piano, and voice. Nothing else. Good pathos but... too short. Another advance of Spirit of Eden. Rating 7.

8. Time It's Time (8:14) is a long ballad, with a melodica solo, played by Hollis. It's a more conventional song, with verse and chorus, too long, with the Ambrosia Choir to sing chorus vocals. Rating 7+.

This is a pop jazz record with fabulous arrangements, of great refinement, at the base are piano ballads with a very strong rhythmic section, where there are almost always more layers of percussion, where in other cases the bass is completely missing. Between piano, keyboards and organ, there are then layers of keyboards, and almost always acoustic guitars, then to break the rhythm, one on each side, there are atmospheric slow songs. There are to great masterpieces on the beginning of first and second side but in any case the second side does not hold the same quality and ends with a long song which is the least experimental. Overall, a transition album both musically and commercially, very interesting, and unpredictable, which will bridge the two future masterpieces.

Rating: 8+. Four stars.

jamesbaldwin | 4/5 |


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