Talk Talk, Spirit Of Eden

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

Spirit Of Eden

Talk Talk
An undeniable masterpiece of mood and minimalism

Spirit of Eden is one of the most beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing and individual albums ever created. That it was the product of a band known more for its neu romantique electronique made it even more exotique in 1988 when, after spending more than a year spent in the studio, Talk Talk emerged with this undeniable masterpiece of mood and minimalism. Produced by Tim Friese-Greene, nominally the group's keyboardist, and wrenchingly sung by Mark Hollis, its dynamic textures, organic instruments, spare lyrics that say all ("Everyone needs someone to need them"), make it a concept album whose theme is transcendence, returning to the Garden in the fated moments before the apple is picked, when decision still hangs in the balance. The album seems suspended, carefully drawing each breath, an unfolding that — even after repeated listens — still surprises with delicate textural overlays and deliberate pacing. Songs flow into each other, motifs revolve and resolve as each element rises to the surface, and then makes way for the next in procession.