The timbre, amplitude, frequency, and duration of every note on Spirit of Eden tell a great, sad story of pop music, a collision of art and commerce that birthed a new sound in its wake. Never once do these six songs reveal the thought or labor that went into them, never once is there too much or too little.
One moment (a muted trumpet, for instance) is always placed exactly where it should be alongside another (feedback from a blues harmonica), thousands of hours of tape painstakingly laced together as part of the vision and spiritual largesse of its composers, singer/songwriter Mark Hollis and co-writer and producer Tim Friese-Greene.
It is a deep blue book of sound, humid with melancholy. Rare is rock music so simple yet made with great toil and unbearable emotion that there’s no better way to classify Spirit of Eden than by the elemental virtue of its sound, the very first thing of music.
If only Talk Talk’s record label felt the same way. ©Pitchfork