Classic Album – Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden (CD review)

Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden (1988) – CD review – This album is certainly in the running for “weirdest record by an established band.”  Talk Talk began life as a somewhat indistinguishable synth- pop group in 1982 with their hit “Talk Talk.”  But after three albums, lead singer Martin Hollis decided to take the band into different territory, and I DO mean different.

The album he came up with, Spirit of Eden, is nearly impossible to describe: there are elements of jazz and classical, and large sections of near-quiet, with a single droning instrument, in some cases followed by a screaming guitar.  It is both haunting and jarring to the ears.  There are no real song structures here.  Instead, several verses are followed by long instrumental passages.  The average song length is around 7 minutes, with the first track clocking in at over 9.  The best way to describe this album might be to say it’s the ambient equivalent of Dark Side of the Moon; it’s another record that sounds better in the dark.  If you’re looking for something totally off the beaten path, look no further. –Tony Peters