Talk Talk
Spirit of Eden


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
May 26th, 2006 | 382 replies | 27,052 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


1 of 4 thought this review was well written

Before Spirit of Eden was released Talk Talk were a big part of the 80's new-wave scene. Surprising everybody the trio went from playing gleeful pop music to suddenly creating a whole new genre, post-rock. Spirit of Eden is arguably the first post-rock album to ever be released but the problem is that three years later Talk Talk released Laughing Stock which is considered to be a monumental post-rock album by several post-rock fans and critics. Spirit of Eden was supposedly a bust by numerous critics, not to mention that it suffers from being overshadowed by Laughing Stock. Talk Talkís record label forced them to release a single off of their album so they released I Believe in You and it was extremely unsuccessful, soon after the release of the single Spirit of Eden was quickly forgotten.

While Spirit of Eden is a post-rock influenced record it shows some minor influences of jazz and ambient. The jazz influences are mainly shown off by various piano chords that are easily detected throughout the album. The ambience of the album is displayed by numerous keyboard dynamics that slowly build up as each song progresses.

Talk Talk use plenty of instruments on this album including organs, violins, flutes, sparkling guitars, and a heavy dose of bass and drums. There are no extended soloís or quick paced riffs, Spirit of Eden relies on a patient listener that is willing to sit threw a lot of ambient build up before a song actually comes together. When songs are going threw their climax there are beautiful textures of instruments creating a soothing and extremely laid-back feel. All that Spirit of Eden wants you to do is kick back, close your eyes, and let the music sink in.

The Rainbow (8:02)
A melancholy violin starts things up and is quickly accompanied by a strange brass sounding instrument and a slight breezy sounding effect. If you kick back and close your eyes the song almost makes you feel like youíre sitting under the tree and staring at the same ocean thatís shown on the front cover. After another minute of ambience you start to hear some odd scratching noises and then some old fashion/western guitar chords come in and explode out of nowhere. A folky harmonica line is then played along with a thumping bass and drum beat. An extremely mellow and care free feel is now established and at three and a half minutes into the song Mark Hollis comes in and sings in his soft and hushed tone. The laid-back western guitar licks play throughout the song and Hollis continues to wail out undecipherable words in a soothing and relaxing voice. The song closes out with a zestful harmonica solo completely taking you by surprise and adding a lot of spice onto the music.
4.5/5

Eden (7:39)
Some gloomy brass instruments are played along with a subtle yet deep bass line. Scratchy guitar bleeps make their way into the music almost unnoticeably, and similar to The Rainbow, Eden goes threw just about one minute of ambience before slowly building up. The scratchy guitar sounds fade off in the background as a simple drum beat is played over a glimmering guitar line. Hollis eventually makes his way into the song and sings in a depressing and hopeful tone as the guitars vanish and there is just a drum beat. Both Hollis and the glimmering guitar switch on and off throughout the song and nothing really happens for a good three to four minutes. The climax of the song bursts out of nowhere and it consists of two noisy guitars clashing together to create a shiny, somewhat jarring sound. The song finally comes to a close with unraveling piano chords along with a slight drum line. All in all the song is filled with glistening guitars and sparkly sounds but it gets sort of boring and it doesnít really go anywhere until the bombardment of clinging guitar sounds.
3/5

Desire (7:17)
Talk Talk do something that they rarely do on Spirit of Eden, and that is rock out. A mournful harmonica groove starts things up and then some aimless keyboard dynamics play creating a jazzy and relaxing feel. Piano chords quickly make their way into the music joined by some twangy guitar hooks and a hushed maraca jingle. Hollis makes his way into the song at two minutes muttering ďdesire" over ethereal dynamics and hushed guitar sounds. With Desire Talk Talk basically abandoned their subtle addition of instruments throughout a song and a crowded and edgy chorus comes and gets you out of nowhere. The guitars hit you hard along with Hollisís loud and boisterous tone. After a few minutes the song goes back to pure ambience and then builds back up into a loud and rocking chorus. Towards the end of the song silence comes in and all you can make out is a few jazzy piano scales. This is without a doubt the harshest and most spontaneous song off of Spirit of Eden but it delivers a hard rocking chorus and while it isnít very well written itís still fun to listen to.
3.5/5

Inheritance (5:24)
This is the shortest and most electronica influenced song off of the album. Jazzy piano arpeggios kick things off and a simple drum line comes in to accompany it. Shortly after this Hollis comes onto the scene and sings in a refined yet beautiful voice. If you put together the jazzy piano chords and Hollisís soft tone the music becomes extremely gloomy yet jazzy at the same time. Towards the middle of the song a flute solo is played along with another brass sounding instrument that resembles the recorder. Keyboard dynamics now make their way into the mix and the piano chords magically reappear along with Hollis. The climax of the song is beautiful and although the instrumentation is quite simple this song is a mellow and brief gem. With about twenty seconds left in the song Hollis suddenly stops singing and an awkward silence takes place leading you into the next song.
4/5

I Believe in You (6:16)
Unlike every other song on the album, things start off with a peppy drumbeat. Glistening guitars along with snazzy piano chords come into the mix and in result Talk Talk almost sound like an old jazz band. Some windy noises are played in the background and Hollis comes in singing in his familiar ďdepressed boy" voice. The atmosphere of the song quickly shifts from a jazzy feel to a mysteriously dark and gloomy feel. Towards the middle of the song Hollis shuts his mouth and a graceful array of windy/ocean like special effects come in. I Believe in You takes you to a different place, a subtle drumbeat accompanies the ocean influenced effects and the song substitutes a climax for a beautiful array of glistening electronic effects. The song finally comes to a close with loud, spacey synths and this is the jazziest and most experimental song off of the album.
4.5/5


Wealth
The album closes with the bleakest, and possibly the most ambient song off of the album. Oddly enough the music starts out with Hollis whispering lyrics into the microphone sounding depressed yet laid back. He fades in and out throughout the course of the song and meshes in extremely well with the rest of the music. This can be either a good or a bad thing but the song is propelled by a spiritual organ chord and some jazzy piano scales. Midway through the song some aimless electronic bleeps come in and this is the most interesting part of the music. Towards the end of the song the instruments tend to quiet down and Hollis closes things out with just him and the church influenced organ. Talk Talk go out in style and end Spirit of Eden with forty-five seconds of good old silence. Overall I believe that this is an ideal closer for a relaxing and mildly depressing album. The simple sounding organ chords mixed in with Hollisís soft and crooning voice creates a melancholy and ambient tone.
4/5

Talk Talk provide us with some gloomy, reflective, and beautiful music. There are at least ten guest instrumentalists that appear on the album and while up to six or seven instruments play at the same time they mesh together so smoothly that you wonít even notice. Spirit of Eden is not exactly an essential post-rock album but if youíre into this type of music then youíll without a doubt enjoy it.



Recent reviews by this author
The Dead C Secret EarthJohn Coltrane Lush Life
Crystal Castles Crystal CastlesUlaan Khol I
Four Tet RingerHarmonia Musik von Harmonia
user ratings (412)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
DynamiteKyle (5)
The record is calculatedly sparse and packed with haunting wonder, and I love it to death....

derho (4)
Pop Art...Rock....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hatshepsut
May 26th 2006



1997 Comments


Holy **** is that a tbt for Zebra?

Zebra
Moderator
May 26th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



masada
May 26th 2006



2733 Comments


Sellout.

The Jungler
May 27th 2006



4827 Comments


Still, best goddamn tbt I've ever seen.

Hatshepsut
May 27th 2006



1997 Comments


So true. Damn, Zebra, even your tbts own.

BTW 4 more to 100 reviews. Amazing.

LF96
May 27th 2006



97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

On my copy the first three tracks are put together as one big song (of some 20 minutes) and there's 40 seconds of pure silence between this track and the three other ones. Anyway, I love this album, I actually think it IS essential post-rock... I mean, it basically kicked of the genre.

FA
May 28th 2006



127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel I'm missing out on Talk Talk. I've yet to hear them and I see good ratings here....I think it's time I give them a listen, eh? Good review too.

Zorg
June 23rd 2007



65 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Pretentious trash.

711
June 23rd 2007



1341 Comments


I don't like you much from your album ratings :pThis Message Edited On 06.23.07

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This Zorg guy is making me angry.

blackmilk
June 23rd 2007



584 Comments


You've heard one album by them, Electric City.

Are you their ultimate fan now?

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Possibly.

I've heard the Rainbow off this, it's awesome, sounds like a lot of the stuff off Laughing Stock.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Got this for Christmas, really chill stuff. I Believe In You is heart breaking.

Shrapnel94
January 20th 2009



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How do you give Eden the lowest score? That song is so fucking epic

angelmk
February 14th 2009



8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

wow this is the album. post rock begin with this, it is unclassifiable music, at that time there wes no term post rock, this guys made it. i love this album

Mendigo
February 14th 2009



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually I wouldn't say this is post-rock, more like experimental music... or unclassifiable as you've put it.

Meatplow
September 7th 2009



5524 Comments


Great album.

I was recommended it as post-punk (not post-rock) given the groups new wave origins I guess which makes it quite a pleasant surprise. I know little of post-rock or its origins but i'm curious now, despite a few dull releases I have come across which have stopped me wanting to look into it.

EasternLight
September 7th 2009



2700 Comments


Ive seen Talk Talk on many lists...i may check em out now.

its an amazing feeling to know how much awesome music i havent heard yet.

erasedcitizen
November 29th 2009



716 Comments


While this is more straightforward than "Laughing Stock" it's still quite obviously the better piece of music.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

your opinion confuses me... go on...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy