We’re still looking out for 2011? Isn’t it a little late for that? Well, maybe, but this one’s coming in under the wire and it is a doozy. The 1991 revelation disguised as a rock record, Laughing Stock, recast synth-poppers Talk Talk as the elder brothers if not the fathers of indie post-rock sounds that would percolate decades on. The album, a contemplative, sometimes spare and sometimes searing bit of work had the forward-thinking vision even some of the proggiest of prog rockers couldn’t muster.
Played mostly on acoustic and vintage instruments, pinned down with an electric guitar without distortion, and casually defiant of the excesses of the day, Talk Talk took Laughing Stock to new and different places and were greeted by abject indifference. Well, someone at Ba-Da-Bing Records felt differently, licensing it and frontman Mark Hollis’ solo from 1998 for re-release on October 11.
It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for anyone who would prefer their hit “It’s My Life” (or the No Doubt cover), but for all the rest who have heard of this quasi-forgotten classic and wondered what the fuss was about, wonder no more.
Laughing Stock is available from Amazon.com.