The Subtle Beauty of Talk Talk’s “The Colour of Spring”

In 1986, the synth-pop band Talk Talk would release their third and most commercially successful record. This album, titled “The Colour of Spring,” would be the greatest capturing of their sound to date. It would prove to be a combination of the catchy synth-pop music from their previous two projects with the vast soundscapes of their future post-rock albums. It sits in between the worlds of experimental and pop, while somehow managing to bring the best of either style into one entirely cohesive masterpiece.

The record begins with the song “Happiness is Easy,” one of Talk Talk’s greatest songs and a stunning opener. It begins with a multitude of different drums, playing with the left and right channels in a way that their previous records hadn’t, as well as already demonstrating the massive improvements in the production and textures present on the album. Structure wise, there’s a slight change from their other albums as well. This is because the songs, while still having verses and choruses, are more stretched out, giving every musician space to experiment within the very tight grooves that are present on most of the tracks. 

One of the most drastic changes the band makes on this album is their inclusion of many more instruments, which does wonders for these songs. Synth-pop as a genre tends to be very mechanical and not have all too many organic instruments present within its songs, so I find Talk Talk’s experiments with that on this album to be very refreshing. As an example of how this instrumentation is utilized within this record, I’d like to highlight the song “Time It’s Time,” which is the closing track and my personal favorite on the album. Its climax features a range of beautiful instruments all in harmony with each other and is the perfect way to close out this album, which has spent its previous tracks getting more grand in scale over time. 

This album is so incredibly impressive and important to both my life as well as Talk Talk’s musical career; every part of it is as wonderful and beautiful as the next and it is truly their greatest work. 

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