Laughing Stock

[B]'Laughing Stock'[/B], though, is the sound of captain [B]Hollis[/B] and his crew finally disappearing over the horizon...

Talk Talk were a bit clever, and a bit cold. They made amazing and decidedly different music in the '80s, but always kept a shining element of pop. It was a very adult pop music - a level of sophistication that was normally heard leaking from sleek air-conditioned saloon cars. Which were frequently foreign.

But Talk Talk's finest moment was 'The Colour Of Spring', the point at which main man Mark Hollis started to really trip out, but just about managed to keep dancing on the cusp between tweeting noodlings and the elegant pop mastery that made the band so brilliant in the first place. This critical favourite, on the other hand, is too out-there. 'Laughing Stock', in 1991, was their last record proper and you can almost hear the band dissolve and evaporate in the pretentious silences of 'Taphead' and 'Ascension Day'.

Idiosyncratic and genuinely odd, Talk Talk were always a band without a place or a time that was their own. Their voyages always took them close to the edge, often with stunning results. 'Laughing Stock', though, is the sound of captain Hollis and his crew finally disappearing over the horizon.
5 / 10

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