Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
What can one say!!
on 10 June 2006
A lot has been said already about this superb release in 1998, I feel I have to comment also as I have been a devout Talk Talk fan for 24 years!
This album is beautifully crafted and patiently played by some excellent musicians. We get bassoon, trumpet, flute, harmonica and clarinet along with double bass and spine chilling piano all playing with the softest of approaches.
Minimilistic and sparse are terms that have both been used already, but there is no other way to describe what feels like minutes of elongated one notes, creaking piano stools, echo, silence and of coarse Mark's haunting vocal style which has set him apart from the norm.
'The Colour Of Spring' written with Phil Ramacon who worked with messers Harris and Webb on 'Herd Of Instinct' by O'Rang opens the set which has to be my favourite, piano and voice that plays havoc with my goosebumps everytime I hear it! It follows on from 'Chameleon Day' (1986) the first taster of his eventual sound and style.
Long time collaborator Tim Friese-Greene has gone but Mark has found another co-writer in the form of Warne Livesey who are responsible for 'Watershed' 'The Gift' 'A Life (1895-1915)' 'The Daily Planet' and 'A New Jerusalem'. 'Westward Bound' is co-written with Domonic Miller and 'Inside Looking Out' is the only self penned song which is one of the strongest peices here. The entire album is a highlight, no individual track lets it down, all the songs are statements, there is no need for verse after verse to get ones point across. 'A Life (1895-1915)' is a perfect example, over 8 minutes long and using 14 words, it describes the euphoria surrounding the charge of nieve but willing young men, joining up to fight for King and Country in WW1 only to find terror, pain, suffering and eventual death. 'A New Jerusalem' closes the album with almost 2 minutes of silence, as if to invite the listener to reflect on the recorded content before returning to everyday life.
This is an album of breathtaking ability and I for one hope we can coax him out of retirement for a follow up soon.