Talk Talk - It's My Life (1984), 6/10

It’s My Life is a lot like a first love. It has an immediate appeal and an attraction that lures you in, formed as shiny synths, hooky choruses, and a melodramatic energy that feels epic yet touching. You will likely stick around for a while, praising it for its diversity and character, but with age comes perspective, and with perspective comes realized wisdom. Some of this manifests as criticism for something appealing to the younger, naïve person within you, but there is something that drew you in at the start that persists, something worth praising hidden behind the pretty exterior. The sometimes-confusing experience that is reflection reveals dichotomies you may not be aware of amid infatuation, yet they were there all along. In the case of It’s My Life, its genuinely strong and infectious opener quickly leads into the star of the show that is the title track before rattling off a series of over-long and self-indulgent pop tracks, closing with the weakest of the bunch. While the majority of these songs are too repetitive, dull, and predictable to be memorable, there are some well-written successes that break up the monotony and continue to foreshadow the band’s future artistic feats such as the sensual “Does Caroline Know?” or the overplayed yet undeniably gratifying title track. Hindsight brings clarity and in the case of Talk Talk’s second album it reveals an imperfect group with a knack for catchy song crafting still yet to find their artistic direction and voice.