Aside from a few “lovely and brilliant” throwaways, Junior’s leading response to this was some zesty air guitar. There is some muscular soloing, but ‘Life’s What You Make It’ is about the big-fingered piano riff and Talk Talk’s new, ambitious, spacious, jazz-flirting sound. The Colour Of Spring album is the tantalising halfway house between the band’s synth-pop roots and the nearly ambient, breathtaking vision of Spirit Of Eden, the 1988 piece that wrapped commercial suicide in a startling prog-jazz overcoat. Give them their due – not everyone can carry off a prog-jazz overcoat.
Here, Talk Talk still make concessions to pop with almost-choruses and that catchy piano thump, but the shift has already happened. Critics’ fave Spirit Of Eden was not the bolt from the blue we’re led to believe; more than a couple of The Colour Of Spring’s meditative moments could flit between the two albums. The question is, did the band even lose something in their stubborn retreat from the pop fray? For me, it’s hard to pick between the two. It’s like asking if I prefer one daughter to the other. Well, it depends which day it is.
Don’t backdate it: