The Psychedelic Furs
Talk Talk Talk


4.0
excellent

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (81 Reviews)
October 25th, 2017 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: F#ck Molly Ringwald..

To those too young or oblivious to the Psychedelic Furs before John Hughes came along, it might seem like the director had all but spawned the band when Pretty in Pink came out, a full four years after the titular song kicked off Talk Talk Talk , the band’s sophomore album. The song, cued up in a key kissy-prissy scene, had originally peaked at #43 on the charts in ’82, then shot up in re-recorded film form all the way to #13 four years later, usurping both the radio and the band that wrote it.

Understandably, too prolonged a display can be poison to a song. You leave green fruit out in the sun too long, and it races right through ripening and into rot. And all things considered, it was a pit “Pretty in Pink” had no choice but to fall into. Hughes’ exercises in glitter-spackled 80’s horseshittery were always going to be a formidable presence. He portrayed America in the most digestible and beloved way imaginable, a gilded loop of sunny suburbia, decked out in quiet subtexts of unending plenitude and chapsticked romance. Even the kids from the wrong side of the tracks in his films tended to look like grimed-up catalog models. And so every note sewn into that myopic pink puff was going to be similarly smothered. “Pretty in Pink” is neither the worst song on Talk Talk Talk, nor is it a bad song by any measure. Just a product of overexposure and one too many coffin nails.

Luckily, Talk Talk Talk gets the ham sandwich out of the way early (at least on the US editions), and proceeds to sprint, strut and slouch through one low-key anthem after another without losing its footing. The inchoate punk schisms and celluloid production of the Furs’ debut is pulled back here somewhat, enough for ruggedly sparkling pop to find its way through inlets of least resistance. The work shows, and Talk Talk Talk would yield them their first sturdy stints on the charts.

Though their debut hinted at it, that patented feeling of remoteness that was the permeating trend of the time, giving most every album a sense of existing outside the permutations of the palpable, is almost entirely absent here. It’s especially evident when collated against the debut’s rhythm section, previously an aloof, tunnel-effect drone, is resuscitated to full effect, by turns rubbery and jagged, and fully involved in the proceedings, as opposed to a utilitarian metronome. This is warm humane fuzz, albeit one that’s still occasionally decked out in buzzing synths and sputtering art-drums, to give just it enough adaptive brio to persevere through commercial radio’s modalities.

There is an acrobatic tilt to Talk Talk Talk, how it manages to balance itself on a strung line between two radical cusps, the detached goth-tinged post-punk of Robert Smith that was usurping airwaves around its release date, and the garish new-wave chintz that was to follow, as Duran Duran and Depeche Mode hit their commercial prime. The Furs straddle the mid-line without letting either sub-genre’s frailties spill over. The record ravels out in blistering bits, with numbers like “No Tears” and “Dumb Waiters” sporting both the detached underbelly of its post-modern origins, and the electric acrobatics of some old fashioned rock n’ roll. Butler’s ragged vocal tone grounds the album considerably, lending it humanity that often salvages Talk Talk Talk from sinking too far into post-punk barrenness.

Like their across-the-pond peers The Replacements, Psychedelic Furs were a band whose sound was in utter flux, tracing radio tropes in the face of their own artistic vision. And much like The Replacements did, that balancing act would eventually tip firmly to the pandering side, turning their tunes, previously packed with personality, into a streak of gaudy new-wave banality. But Talk Talk Talk captures them in that indelible moment, a young band eager to please and unwilling to tumble headfirst into concession, cutting great songs like it’s nobody’s f#cking business.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


5639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there we go..

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SandwichBubble
October 25th 2017


4776 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"unberbelly" in the second to last paragraph



doing god's work, btw ❤

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butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


5639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

unBerbelly!!



haha, cheers, fixed..

UniqueUniverse
October 25th 2017


7641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And so it begins

Digging: Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


5639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uni, this was left over from the previous series.. need to get my ass in gear and start the new one already though..

UniqueUniverse
October 25th 2017


7641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hey, the b-sides can sometimes be better than the main thing

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


5639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's what your parents said when your younger brother was born..

UniqueUniverse
October 25th 2017


7641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

... and sometimes the b-sides overshadow the main thing, so the main thing has to tie them under their house's foundation, so that nobody finds them and let them die of starvation, leaving the artists that made both mortified and scarred for life, not knowing what has happened to their beloved b-side....

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


16344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yaaaaar, a long time in the making, top work Butch.



I still like ‘Pretty in Pink’ but I guess I never encountered the overexposure first hand.



Favourites? Those last two songs are their own little world.

Digging: Cathal Coughlan - The Sky's Awful Blue

jtswope
October 25th 2017


5650 Comments


She Is Mine is such a good tune.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 25th 2017


16344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

She is Mine is my absolute favourite yes



It’s in my Top 100 songs of all time

jtswope
October 25th 2017


5650 Comments


Yeah that song always stuck with me.

Divaman
October 25th 2017


1521 Comments


Yay! This review makes me very happy.

I like "Pretty in Pink", though. Not my favorite Furs song, but I like it. But I guess that's kind of what you were saying, too.

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TheIntruder
October 26th 2017


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to see this album reviewed on Sput.

TheSpaceMan
October 26th 2017


9521 Comments


ay oh

good shit dude this deserved some words

Jethro42
October 26th 2017


15107 Comments


I only know their hits. Will listen to the album.

AcidCaravan
October 26th 2017


380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album. Even if the first one is IMO even better...

TwigTW
October 28th 2017


2780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a great album, and now it has a great review! Dumbwaiters is my favorite, but there are so many good songs on this one. I still like Pretty In Pink, but I was disappointed with the movie remixing.



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