Album Reviews

On their second album, Talk Talk Talk, the Psychedelic Furs immerse themselves in a decidedly unpsychedelic subject: puppy love. About this topic, they're gratifyingly frank (sample song titles: "I Wanna Sleep with You" and "Into You like a Train"–a great one, that last), even if they're charmingly bratty, too. For instance, these six English lads are heavily into possession ("She Is Mine") and all that superficial surface stuff. Mrs. Jones, in the tune called "Mr. Jones," is described as being "Moderately pretty/She is all the girls you know."

But this sort of thing is what makes the Furs attractive. They're so earnest about their silly and confused emotions – and about the prancing drones they use for melodies. Guitars skitter through an echo chamber, closely followed by Richard Butler's nuanced moan: the kind of cold, slow drawl that Bryan Ferry used to affect before he admitted he was an adult romantic deeply into monogamy.

The pleasure of Talk Talk Talk is that we can hear the Psychedelic Furs acting out their adolescence, a time when talk, talk, talk with a girl is a terribly frustrating–and terribly exciting–thing to do. The boys complain with winning self-pity ("She has got it in for me Yeah I mean it, honestly She's so mean"), yet they also court maturity in their music. That song about the mean girl, for example, is tucked into a big, undulating howl of guitar reverberation, saxophone tremors and steady, menacing drumming. The Furs never fully grow up on this record, but that only leads to wonderful moments like these lines: "I met this girl & Called her ma...."

The Psychedelic Freuds? (RS 350)


(Posted: Aug 20, 1981)


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