The Party's Over

The Party's Over

Talk Talk’s debut album is so unlike much of the group’s catalog that you could practically consider it a different band. Except those vocals could only come from one Mark Hollis, who even at his most commercially aimed has an ear for textures that go beneath the surface. The band did not yet include Tim Friese-Greene, a keyboard player and producer who would co-write with Hollis much of the band’s material. The band anthem, “Talk Talk” is here with a set of tunes that were often compared with the synth-heavy strains of Duran Duran, with whom they toured and shared a producer. A fair enough comparison, but with the advantage of time and listening to the group with their entire future catalog available, one can hear the roots of their moody melancholia in the pleading urgency of “It’s So Serious,” the epic grandeur of the six-minute title track, and the furious anxiety in the scrambling rhythms of “Hate.” In a sense, this album is tightly glued to the early ‘80s and its discovery of synthesizers and other new electronics. But there are some great tunes lurking in “Mirror Man” and “Candy.”

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