As if the world needed another introduction to Talk Talk, EMI released Essential in 2003, which at least did the band the service of taking their last two albums for the label -- Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden, two albums that broke free from the band's new wave roots -- into consideration. Ironically, the most surprising aspect of the compilation is that the track selections are very smart, taking in all the key singles and representing each of the band's first four albums. Talk Talk fanatics will argue that songs from Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden should never be placed in a context outside their origin, but then this disc should provoke several people to pick up those very albums. Though there are too many single-disc Talk Talk anthologies floating around, Essential is just as good as any other. There are no sops to completists, and it sticks to presenting an accurate sampling of the group's best work.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman