It’s My Life

(1984), 4.5/10
Talk Talk are still in synth pop mode for their second album, It’s My Life. It’s merely a competent synth era record, although with good taste and economical arrangements and topped off with an emotive singer. The best song is the one that most accurately predicts their future course; ‘Tomorrow Started’ features the jazzy feel and more experimental textures that would mark their later records, with a distorted guitar used as background ambience on an otherwise gentle track. Most of the first side is relatively solid – the title track was remade into a hit for No Doubt, and it’s a well constructed and hooky piece, while ‘Such A Shame’ and ‘Dum Dum Girl’ are also fine singles of their era, although the latter’s central hook is almost irritating enough to write it off entirely. The second half is less convincing, with badly dated material like ‘Call In The Night Boy’ and ‘It’s You’, with little happening musically beyond simple keyboard riffs. There are signs of something beyond perfunctory hit making here, but I doubt that too many pundits in 1984 would have predicted Talk Talk’s following albums to be so sublime and genre breaking.

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