Talk Talk - Laughing Stock LP


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Label: Polydor

Dreamy and loose, Talk Talk's Laughing Stock turns 180 degrees away from the '80s pop sound of It's My Life and runs headlong into a web of Brian Eno, avant-garde, jazz, and experimental structure. The songs ache with languid phrases and the naked, vulnerable voice of Mark Hollis, the only element of the band that remains perceptible from their verse-chorus-verse past. The bashing, off-time clatter of "Ascension Day;" the impossibly patient organ motif snaking into a wailing guitar string in "After the Flood;" the terrifying, beautiful silences that engulf "Runeii" and "Myrrhman;" and the teetering, defenseless vocal Hollis lays down on "New Grass" – it all adds up to a stellar, shockingly original work that shreds all pretense of genre limitations, finding a transcendence in the light and shadow of musical color.