Tuesday, June 05, 2007

album of the day

Laughing Stock by Talk Talk.

Few bands took as strange and mysterious a journey as Talk Talk in the mid to late 1980's. From the synth-pop of It's My Life (recently brutally murdered by No Doubt) via the lopsided piano riff of Life's What You Make It and the intensely dense and powerful album The Colour Of Spring to the uncategorisably strange delights of this album, and its predecessor Spirit Of Eden. All within about 6 years. Not a journey Duran Duran ever contemplated taking, you can be sure of that.

I change my mind about this every few months, but my current feeling is that this one is just a little bit better than Spirit Of Eden, but that might just be because I listened to this one last (tonight, actually). It's very hard to describe, but bookended by the dead-slow Myrrhman and Runeii (with its shimmering guitar glissandi - I like that word) are a sequence of songs featuring fractured guitar figures, stuttering piano, breathy vocals, occasional squalls of grungy guitar (Ascension Day), hypnotic rhythms (New Grass) and all manner of strange instrumentation. I don't have the instrument list for this album, but Spirit Of Eden features harmonica, harmonium, bassoon, shozygs, cor anglais and the choir of Chelmsford Cathedral, and this one is pretty similar. It's not McFly, that's for sure. What it is, though, is a thing of strange and baffling beauty which fits into no recognisable category (some call it "post-rock", apparently). It's also another classic "chill-out" album, in the same nudge-nudge vein as Solid Air.

Amazon currently have all three of the essential Talk Talk albums for a total of £19.94. You owe it to yourself to deny your children nutritional sustenance this week and buy them.


The Black Rabbit said...

Naffink to do with your music reviews.
Just thought you might be interested.
As posted on my blue-grey blog, I am looking to procure a couple of rooks from the local farmers mar'et to eat.
They had run out on saturday, but I'm hoping to get some next time.
Knowing how you are into your weird meat (ooohh nooo matronnn...etc...) wondered if youz could give me a recipe and 'heads-up' on the taste of a rook?
Aahh de smell of a womarrn. NOPE.
Aahh de taste of a rook!

AND not that poncey rook breast recipe that Gordon Ramsay served up last night on the F word, with walnut oil and rocket and all that crap.


electrichalibut said...

Rook? Interesting. I would imagine, off the top of my head, that any recipe specifying pigeon would work equally well with rook, though I expect rook would be a bit more gamey.

I'd be very interested to hear how it goes. Better still, take some pictures!

electrichalibut said...

You alluded to your "blue-grey" blog in an earlier comment, and I ignored it (assuming you just meant the 26 one). I've never seen it before! Have to do some catching up and put a link up.

Definitely need some rook cuisine photos posted up there, plus recipe. And photos of you vomiting up your pelvis afterwards.

The Black Rabbit said...

Never really mentioned the "Blue-Grey" blog to you bate, because it really exists as a personal diary for me (nature wise) and Anna, and a reference guide for people who wanted to find out what that thing they found in their garden actually might be (well... after a year or two, anyway).
It's teaching me and Anna a lot about the wee beasties and bugs also - something that this "zoologist" dunt know much 'bout.
Not a lot to interest people who aren't interested in wildlife, not much controversy and debating points I'm afraid.
About as controversial as it got is when I suggested people should use their eyes more, and make time to quite liderally smell the roses once in a while.
You can see from the lack of comments that its really reference only, but if anybody (including you) do want to comment (Nic has a guest post for example), then they (and youz) are most welcome.

electrichalibut said...

If you're suggesting people smell roses with their eyes, then that really is a bit controversial. Not to mention painful.