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Talk Talk - It's My Life CD (album) cover


Talk Talk


Crossover Prog

3.19 | 176 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars It feels quite strange for me to give a TALK TALK album a low rating, but it's obvious this one lacks the maturity of Colour of Spring and their future work. If you, as I did, are coming from having heard that later work, expect this to bear little relationship to their future work, except perhaps a bit of a tie to Colour of Spring. Still, there are some very interesting flashes of TALK TALK's future promise, even in this early work, that can't be denied. What causes it a problem, though, is the fact that it's very clearly stuck in the middle between the decent pop rock of The Party's Over and the new direction of Colour of Spring, and measures up rather mediocre. I wouldn't call it bad, but this is probably the last album you should get to complete your TALK TALK collection.

MARK HOLLIS' vocals, as always, never fail to impress. Expect them to sound more like Colour of Spring or The Party's Over, rather than the delicate stylings of his self-titled solo album, or Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. What is quite peculiar compared to any future album (but evident also on The Party's Over), is the sheer amounts of more negative, aggressive emotions that he pours into his voice on certain songs, such as the anguish of "Renée", the biting "Call in the Night Boy", and the angry, almost screamed "It's You". I have to admit, it's pretty interesting to see a vocalist who can perform well with such opposite stylings.

The strongest tracks, with the most indications of TALK TALK's future directions, were the darker, more mysterious tracks, which was, in my opinion, what the 80s sound did best, rather than the happier, poppier stuff (think of PINK FLOYD's "Yet Another Movie" and "Sorrow", ROGER WATERS' "Home", PETER GABRIEL's "San Jacinto", or Mister Mister's "Broken Wings"). "Renée" in particular has a brass arrangement that hints at HOLLIS' later uses of the instrument. "Such a Shame" has a wonderfully haunting synthy intro and although the end is executed in a somewhat clunky manner, it definitely is evidence of creative thinking on TALK TALK's part. The clear star of the album, however, is "Tomorrow Started"--dark and mysterious, and by far the most sophisticated, with trumpet work that hints at Miles Davis as well as the sound of the Far East.

Probably the songs that were singles were the least enjoyable to me and the most dated-sounding, although none of them were totally devoid of interesting items. "Dum Dum Girl", unsurprisingly, wasn't exactly the sharpest track on the album, but listenable, and I liked the chorus. "It's My Life" had a rather unfortunate synth effect in it, although the chord progression was all right...overall, this track was a bit too poppy for me. Similarly, "The Last Time" was another weaker point--a bit too Eurythmics, but the multitracked vocals were pleasant to listen to. "Does Caroline Know?" was slightly dated as well, but again the vocals made up for it. Even with these, given the choice, I'd much rather listen to TALK TALK's variety of synth pop than almost any other group's.

FloydWright | 2/5 |


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