The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk

The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk
Nationality: British
Released: May 21, 1981
Genres: Post-punk, new wave, neo-psychedelia
Average RYM rating: 3.65

Track listing:
Dumb Waiters
Pretty in Pink
I Wanna Sleep With You
No Tears
Mr. Jones
Into You Like a Train
It Goes On
So Run Down
All of This & Nothing
She Is Mine

There are two different track listings for this album, but I'll go with the one used by both RYM and Spotify.

A heavy saxophone riff opens "Dumb Waiters" and the album. Then the vocals kick in. They're reminiscent of the Sex Pistols' John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten). The instrumentation is typical for the genre--guitar-centred and a bit messy with an odd, processed feel. The saxophonist and the guitarist take solos, and the track fades out with finger snaps.

I'm sure I'd heard "Pretty in Pink" before listening to this album. It was featured in a movie of the same title, so that seems likely. The guitar work sounds more jangly now and the general feel is more poppy. This sounds almost like the Smiths. In fact, the vocalist's tone sounds similar to Morrissey's. The vocals are mixed way too low in the ending--I can barely make out what he's saying. Even if that's intentional, I don't like it.

You can probably guess the subject matter of "I Wanna Sleep With You." Lyrics don't mean much to me unless they're exceptional (think Paul Simon), so I won't analyze them. Sonically, this one is quite similar to the opener, with more guitar and less saxophone. It's got a catchy riff and nice drum fills.

"No Tears" is my favourite on the album by far. As soon as the vocals came in, I thought of David Bowie, and that's always good. One thing I'm noticing about the singer is that he likes to keep his accent. The whole track feels like Bowie circa Scary Monsters, which coincidentally (or not) came out a year earlier. I really do love this song.

Another catchy, but not particularly memorable riff kicks off "Mr. Jones." I'm getting a bit bored with the lack of variety, and the lyrics aren't interesting enough to kerp me hooked. There's not much to say--more repetitive saxophone and guitar.

The beginning of "Into You Like a Train" sounds promising, but it soon falls into the same pattern. The main problem I'm having is that the songs so far have all been played at roughly the same tempo, which makes for a dull experience. There are some cool wispy effects going on--maybe a synthesizer or a guitar pedal, but the lyrics are too similar to "I Wanna Sleep With You." I'm yawning, although that may be due to the fact that's it's currently 11:36 pm. Whatever.

"It Goes On" introduces a slightly different sound--the guitarist is using a wah-wah pedal at the start of the song. (I believe? I'm no guitar expert.) It soon transitions to the usual saxophone and guitar jam and a chorus without a strong melody.

"So Run Down" is promising from the start. The drums are played differently--like a disco beat combined with the bridge of the Beatles' "Something." Its melody still doesn't really exist, but the backing track is interesting enough to compensate.

Guitar arpeggios reminiscent of the Police introduce "All of This and Nothing." The sound and tempo have changed again. That lasts for about a minute, then a riff kicks in, followed by the vocals. This is more interesting--the drumming changes up again with some hi-hat accents on the offbeats and the chorus has a strong melody. Ah, now it's back to the arpeggios. I wish they'd do more of this. The bass and drums join in, and soon the lead guitar riff does too. It turns into a saxophone/guitar jam and fades out.

"She Is Mine" sounds like "No Tears"--a laid back riff and a poppier, more melodic verse. Once again, I'm reminded of the Smiths and specifically Morrissey. There's also bit of Roxy Music in the saxophone lines. It's a pretty tune and a nice way to end the album.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the album. It started strong, dragged in the middle, then ended with three good songs in a row. But it never quite got off the ground and wasn't varied enough to pique my interest. I rated it 3/5 on RYM. If you're heavily into post-punk, I'd recommend it. It just so happens I'm not, and if I'm in the mood, I'll probably listen to a different artist. That said, "No Tears" and "She Is Mine" are addictive and in regular rotation on Spotify.