I wish more people knew about how amazing Talk Talk is. There’s “It’s My Life,” of course, but do you know about Spirit of Eden or Laughing Stock, albums that reach for the ethereal and almost always get it. But those came later. “Life’s What You Make It” was released in 1985, and I remember seeing the video on some Saturday afternoon show, and being haunted by the images: the night, alive with music and light in the trees; animals and insects, hunting or inching along on the ground, and then morning, bird song and rabbits.
The lyrics are simple, repetitive. But that one line (beauty’s naked) lingers. Things we might overlook or take for granted, the trees, or a centipede, reveal themselves. Where do we fit into this, or do we fit into it at all ? I love how this song is at once minimalistic, but also grandiose, a thumping piano and the repeated phrase, “life’s what you make it,” challenging the listener to step into that other-worldly night. The song makes no promises; it doesn’t claim to change you. It asks that you see your own beauty, and embrace it.
(Song recommendation by Sarah Nichols)