Talk Talk
Spirit of Eden


4.5
superb

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (131 Reviews)
October 26th, 2015 | 173 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spirit of Eden easily serves as one of the quintessential albums regarding what could happen if a band thinks outside the box and experiments.

Every genre goes through different phases of development and post rock’s inception humbly began here. Though not completely developed yet, Spirit of Eden basically laid down the blueprint paper as opposed to its successor which literally flushed it out. Essentially, this album marked the first glimpse into a whole new spectrum of music and a phenomenal one at that. Instead of catchy riffs, dominating synthesizers and corny glam metal hits that were the current craze, Talk Talk chose to experiment to great effect. Spirit of Eden is an imaginative take on alternative music driven by textured guitar playing and incredible instrumental variety. It’s truly a testament of how simply experimenting into new territory can create something entirely fresh for said avenue of art.

“The Rainbow” automatically reveals the true nature of what the listener is about to delve into. Though some patience is indeed required to hear its payoff, but it grows into something quite tranquil. After the first two minutes of sheer ambiance, the beautiful guitar tone comes in, along with the sudden onset of the harmonica, along with countless others. The harmonica proved to be undoubtedly unexpected, as well as many other instruments that grace its euphoric mood. Along with the harmonica comes the dense layering of piano, keyboards, various woodwinds and the more traditional ones into the atmosphere. Not only this, but the vocals sing in such a gentle manner that it will only make the listener feel an overwhelming sense of warmth. Unlike traditional rock when listening with headphones, nothing ever blares into the ears with this album even at a high volume. Everything melds and builds upon itself perfectly for one of the most soothing opening track experiences. These qualities easily carry over into “Eden” as well, which directly succeeds the track. Even though no track really measures up to the impression that these two tracks leave, the rest of the album certainly holds up in its wake nonetheless.

“Desire” unveils more of the dynamics of the album, with it going a bit heavier than the rest of them. The beginning showcases fantastic minimalism as the soothing vocals, soaring melodies and quiet guitars pave the way. The heavier parts feature brilliant little crescendos with memorable guitar riffs and drumming as well. Meanwhile, the minimalism of this track serves as the basic meat of the album and any section like this never disappoints. “I Believe In You” proves to be no exception to this claim. As the lush guitar textures and vocals heighten the atmosphere, the keyboards and organs come in soon after, bringing about spacey “ahhs” to close out the song in grand fashion. It’s a unique way end the track and one of the best moments of the album. “Wealth” also increases the minimalism even more, closing out the record with a subtle bang. Ambient at heart and ethereally beautiful, it’s a song that truly creates a thought provoking mood and serves as a brilliant transition into their swan song album.

The only problems that exist with Spirit of Eden would be how the vocals can be occasionally irksome. Though not entirely bad throughout, he literally sounds like he has a frog in his throat in “Inheritance.” It takes away from the versatile atmosphere of the song greatly. It doesn't mesh well with the mood the instruments successfully create. In addition to this, the album just doesn’t have the evocative and masterful soundscapes that makes Laughing Stock even more incredible. The sound has yet to grow further, but it’s quite the satisfying blueprint at that. Any flaw aside, there are many genre bending classics that simply don’t hold up to the critical acclaim it acquired when it came out. However, Spirit of Eden happens to be one of the exceptions. It’s euphoric, timeless and serves as a testament of what could transpire if a band thinks outside the box. It may even aid in the discovery of a new genre.



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user ratings (573)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
derho (4)
Pop Art...Rock....

DynamiteKyle (5)
The record is calculatedly sparse and packed with haunting wonder, and I love it to death....

Chris Jackson (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


17853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really love this band. Hope you guys enjoy the read! This is a band even non post rock lovers can love

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2015


14835 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

Great review, didn't know you had been working on this.

Digging: Opeth - Sorceress

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


17853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude, yea I feel like this one often gets swept under the rug sometimes because of how understandably flawless LS is, so here we go.

Friday13th
October 26th 2015


5476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Laughing Stock is more consistently interesting, but this one deserves just as much love if just for sheer originality.

Digging: Blood Sweat Tears - Child Is Father to the Man

Hovse
October 26th 2015


1506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best talk talk

KILL
October 26th 2015


78265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this doesnt get swept under the rug at all the fuckin colour of spring does omg what an album almost as good as this ya

Digging: Bryan MacLean - Ifyoubelievein

theBoneyKing
October 26th 2015


4230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really, really need to listen to this. Laughing Stock has quickly become one of my favorite albums.

Digging: American Music Club - California

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


17853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well meaning LS is definitely discussed a lot more and for good reason. This is still brilliant. I gotta listen to Colour Of Spring.

TheCrocodile
October 26th 2015


2344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes you do, Colour of Spring is really great.

zaruyache
October 26th 2015


13838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like good music

Digging: Imbaru - Vigias

SharkTooth
October 26th 2015


13508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tried this out today, cool stuff

Archael
October 26th 2015


1162 Comments


absolutely gorgeous

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


17853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Indeed it is, makes you feel awesome.

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


7783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

never bothered with Talk Talk because "It's My Life" is such an irritating song



having said that, nice one mong-man

Digging: Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

Gyromania
October 26th 2015


20943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is a 5. good review

Gyromania
October 26th 2015


20943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also arcade this album and laughing stock are literally nothing at all like that and you are missing out on some of the best music ever

Archael
October 26th 2015


1162 Comments


arcade dude, this band went from some crappy mediocre synthpop that they were forced to play for a living, into doing what they really wanted and becoming the first, and by far the best, post-rock band of all time.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


17853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes arcade you need to try this and Laughing Stock immediately

Tunaboy45
October 26th 2015


13275 Comments


*topical joke about Talk Talk being hacked by a 15 year old boy*

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2015


7783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i trust your opinions so i will check but with god as my witness if there's anything even slightly as rancid as "It's My Life" i'm holding your collective judgement accountable



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