Talk Talk
The Colour of Spring


4.5
superb

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (18 Reviews)
July 28th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the most important transition albums of all time

Many people look back on Talk Talk as the band that pioneered post-rock. It's easy to look back favourably on them in retrospect, but as is the case with many genre pioneers, they weren't appreciated in their day and age. Despite the cult following both The Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock have developed, they were largely passed off as pretentious and bloated at their time of release, when nobody could look back like we can to see the impact these albums would have on the modern musical landscape. It should be noted that the bands third album, The Colour of Spring is actually their best-selling album, containing their most popular singles while performing leaps and bounds over their previous releases in terms of both originality and quality. By doing away with the synth-heavy new wave the band had developed and taking influences from jazz and art-pop, the band created an eclectic melting pot that paved the way for it's successors without alienating fans, making it a defining album for the band and a landmark transition album for music as a whole.

Right from the get go, the band wastes no time establishing their new direction with “Happiness Is Easy”. Beginning with nothing but a repeating drum track, the track is immediately more bare-boned than anything in their back catalogue, but the slow and careful addition of layers to it's skeletal structure indicates a far more mature approach to their song-writing. The song slowly builds into a track somewhat more familiar to fans; Hollis' signature croon is still here, as are the addictive grooves and a memorable chorus, but there's something different. The expressive strings that ease in a little over a minute into the song, the extended instrumental sections, a far wider instrumental palate, all of these show a band striving to take an idea and push it to its limit. The singles of the album (#16 hit “Life's What You Make It” and #48 single “Living In Another World) also adhere to this pattern, bearing a loose similarity to past singles but containing more experimentation, more creativity and as such are a more satisfying experience overall. They are no less addictive when compared to past singles, but there is a whole new level of depth given to these new songs. However these tracks are the reason that, despite how far Talk Talk expanded their sound here, one foot was grounded firmly in the past.

The real meat of the album lies in between these more fan-friendly cuts. “April 5th” marks the most haunting ballad of the band's career, expanding on the morose sound played with in the second track and multiplying it tenfold. Throwing in a wider range of instruments (including a saxophone, a variophon, a dobro and an organ), a more creative song structure and some of Mark Hollis' most emotive vocals makes this the most unique track thus far in the bands career. This is their first big step in the direction of their future sound, and an important statement from the band. This statement is furthered by the 7th track, “Chameleon Day”. Easily the most experimental song on the album, this piece wouldn't be out of place on either of their following albums, consisting of nothing but an extremely sparse jazz atmosphere and Hollis' evocative croons. The final track is the real highlight though, standing as a perfect snapshot for the entire album and the perfect marriage of old and new styles. “Time It's Time” is a monumental epic that epitomises everything the band has accomplished thus far. With more creative ideas and even more unique sounds (harmonicas, melodicas and tribal chants are a focal point of the track), the band essentially hits all of the targets they were aiming for throughout the album. The track covers several different sounds and feelings, with lyrics like “Time it's time to live through the pain, now that it's over” that perfectly reflect the atmosphere. Even though the track can become pompous and overbearing with its exuberance, it was a necessary piece to the puzzle and the perfect close to the album. While one foot is still grounded in the past, this is the foot that was planted in the future, the foot that would pioneer a new genre and affect music as we know it today.

For a band with a legacy as important as Talk Talk's, it is difficult to appraise a past album without comparing it to their revered classics. These is no doubt that the albums succeeding this one were far more important to music today, but that should not diminish the success of this release, as well as its importance to the band itself. This was a masterful album in it's own right, the culmination of everything the band had built until this point, and the perfect transition into the sound they would become known for. It was the bands first successful experimentation and gave them the confidence needed to release albums as challenging as The Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock in the future. The Colour of Spring stands as an integral part of Talk Talk's history, the most pivotal moment in their career and a brilliant album that is truly worth your time.



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user ratings (178)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
July 28th 2014


261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one goes out to KILL for letting me know this didn't already have a review. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated. I've never reviewed an album as important as this one, and I felt like I referred a bit too much to their other albums, but it's all a learning experience (:

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

someguest
July 28th 2014


20667 Comments


I've always thought the opener on this album would be a great sample for a hip-hop track. Nice review.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

ComeToDaddy
July 28th 2014


261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The opener has suuuch a nice groove to it, though I can't think of a rapper who could pull it off

Friday13th
July 28th 2014


2473 Comments


pos'd nice review. I've heard a couple of songs on pandora, but I'll check the rest out. Spirit of Eden is one of my favorite post-rock albums.

Digging: Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Solar Fire

dosia
July 28th 2014


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally! Good review, wonderful album. I've listened to it after Spirit and Laughing Stock and I remember to be somewhat disappointed, but it didn't last long. As you said - it's a masterful album in its own right... I think I like every track on this now, actually.

KILL
July 28th 2014


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

almost bronzed my cacks when i saw this you rule so hard dude

so true about time its time, as good as anything on spirit or laughing i reckon

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

ComeToDaddy
July 29th 2014


261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah man, thanks for giving me the heads up, this NEEDED some good treatment, shit's important. All 3 albums are excellent regardless of influence

I honestly didn't like time its time that much back when i started listening to this, but it grew on me so much, is at least top 3 Talk Talk songs for me now

Winesburgohio
July 29th 2014


1033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

finally a review, and one that does it justice no less. bravo.

prefer this to Spirit of Eden honestly and Time is Time is one of my favorite TT jams to,o even if i can't sip beer ruminatively to it

Digging: Big City Orchestra - Daydreams of Night

ComeToDaddy
July 29th 2014


261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks friend! I can dig that, even though I wouldn't put this above the other 2 it's easily my most listened to TT album, can listen to this one any time in any mood

oltnabrick
August 21st 2014


30904 Comments


happiness is easy

Digging: Suicideyear - FACT mix 462

Hovse
August 21st 2014


896 Comments


really beautiful

Lakes.
September 1st 2014


27956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

holy fuck this goes hard

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Xar
September 1st 2014


1333 Comments


Is it a 5?

Digging: Jai Paul - Jai Paul

NorthernSkylark
September 1st 2014


3522 Comments


yeah, how good?

Digging: Tiger Trap - Tiger Trap

Lakes.
September 1st 2014


27956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pretty damn good

DrMaximus
September 1st 2014


9376 Comments


GOTTA GIVE IT UP!!!

NorthernSkylark
September 1st 2014


3522 Comments


I DON'T BELIEVE YOU

Lakes.
September 1st 2014


27956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

life's what you make it = best pop song of the 80s

Hovse
September 11th 2014


896 Comments


Time It's Time is incredible

someguest
September 14th 2014


20667 Comments


The entire album is pretty damn incredible.



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