8 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is the only solo album from former Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis. Like the latter-day Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock), Mark Hollis is filled with songs that float between genres and use the full dynamic range by hanging low until Hollis suddenly raises his voice for emphasis. Unlike any Talk Talk release, this is largely an acoustic album with none of the songs being co-written by longtime collaborator Tim Friese-Greene. The bassoon can be heard cresting through “The Watershed.” The piano breaks the silences of “Inside Looking Out,” where jazz chords, an acoustic guitar and a plaintive melody and a vocal with slight reverb create a solitary vibe and a stillness that is as affecting as music made at ten times the volume. The quiet continues throughout the album with “Westward Bound” mastering the silent break. Clarinets and bassoons open “The Daily Planet” before a sparse drum and bass pound out an irregular heartbeat. Hollis stands nearly alone in his vocal prowess, in the rarefied company of such idiosyncratic geniuses as David Sylvian and Scott Walker.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is the only solo album from former Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis. Like the latter-day Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock), Mark Hollis is filled with songs that float between genres and use the full dynamic range by hanging low until Hollis suddenly raises his voice for emphasis. Unlike any Talk Talk release, this is largely an acoustic album with none of the songs being co-written by longtime collaborator Tim Friese-Greene. The bassoon can be heard cresting through “The Watershed.” The piano breaks the silences of “Inside Looking Out,” where jazz chords, an acoustic guitar and a plaintive melody and a vocal with slight reverb create a solitary vibe and a stillness that is as affecting as music made at ten times the volume. The quiet continues throughout the album with “Westward Bound” mastering the silent break. Clarinets and bassoons open “The Daily Planet” before a sparse drum and bass pound out an irregular heartbeat. Hollis stands nearly alone in his vocal prowess, in the rarefied company of such idiosyncratic geniuses as David Sylvian and Scott Walker.

TITLE TIME
3:54
5:45
6:21
4:22
8:10
4:18
7:19
6:49

About Mark Hollis

The frontman of the influential new wave-era band Talk Talk, singer/songwriter Mark Hollis finally mounted his long-awaited solo career during the late '90s. The younger brother of Ed Hollis, a disc jockey and producer who went on to manage bands such as Eddie & the Hot Rods, Hollis originally planned to become a child psychologist but in 1975 left university to relocate to London, eventually forming a band called the Reaction. In 1977, the Reaction recorded a demo for Island Records; among the tracks was a Hollis original titled "Talk Talk" that later surfaced on the Beggars Banquet punk compilation Streets. After just one single, 1978's "I Can't Resist," the Reaction disbanded, and through his brother, Hollis was first introduced to musicians Paul Webb, Lee Harris, and Simon Brenner, with whom he formed Talk Talk in 1981, soon signing to the EMI label.

With their 1982 debut The Party's Over, Talk Talk emerged as an archetype of new wave ideals, but with each successive record their sound grew more atmospheric and complex, moving further away from conventional pop structure. Records like 1986's The Colour of Spring and 1988's brilliant Spirit of Eden increasingly represented the vision of Hollis and producer Tim Friese-Green, who together steered away from the electronic pop of Talk Talk's early work toward a more organic, often acoustic sound textured by elements of jazz and ambient music. Despite lavish critical praise, relations with EMI disintegrated; personality conflicts within Talk Talk's ranks were growing as well, and after completing 1991's Laughing Stock, the group was essentially finished. Hollis then disappeared from sight for the next seven years; finally, in early 1998, he issued a self-titled solo album, a beautiful continuation of the final Talk Talk records. However, Hollis then retired from music and has not issued any recordings since. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Tottenham, London, England
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • BORN
    1955

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