Classic Album Pat Metheny Still Life (Talking) Review

In this series, Guitar Command takes a look at some of the greatest guitar albums ever made. Here, we feature Pat Metheny Group's Still Life (Talking).

Pat Metheny Still Life Talking Review
Pat Metheny Still Life Talking Review

Classic Guitar Album Review: Pat Metheny Group - Still Life (Talking)

Still Life (Talking) was released in 1987. The Pat Metheny Group were already well established and had released several popular albums, including 'American Garage' and 'Offramp'. Still Life (Talking) was the group's first album to be released by Geffen.

Pat Metheny Still Life Talking Album Cover
Pat Metheny Still Life Talking Album Cover

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As with much of Metheny's output, Still Life (Talking) is heavily influenced by Brazilian music. Fans refer to this album, the band's previous release 'First Circle', and the subsequent 'Letter From Home' as the 'Brazilian Trilogy'. The Latin influence is very apparent throughout Still Life (Talking), with Brazilian rhythms and instrumentation driving all of the tracks.
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Still Life (Talking) opens with 'Minuano', a meandering epic of a first track. In the atmospheric introduction, male vocals soar over Lyle Mays' rhythmic piano. The music ebbs and flows before launching into a Latin groove that sets the tone for the rest of the album. More musical twists and turns follow, interspersed by Metheny's melodic soloing.

'So May It Secretly Begin' is a laid-back, bluesy number. It is followed by the nostalgic 'Last Train Home'; a good track to convert non-jazz fans to Metheny's music. In the showcase 'Third Wind', the Pat Metheny Group demonstrates its versatility and musicianship. The last track on the album, 'In Her Family', is a typically bittersweet Metheny composition.

Still Life (Talking) is very much a 'summer' album; the Brazilian rhythms and instruments are evocative of hot summer evenings on the beach. This is a great album for driving or for laid-back social occasions. Metheny's playing is, as ever, fluid and melodic. His reverb-soaked tone and use of guitar synth tones is unmistakable, and he sets the standard for jazz-fusion guitarists. If you want an introduction to Pat Metheny's music (particularly from the Pat Metheny Group era), Still Life (Talking) would be the ideal first album. A must for all jazz and fusion guitar fans.

Pat Metheny On The Web:

Pat Metheny Discography at Wikipedia

Pat Metheny Official Site:
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1 thought on “Classic Album Pat Metheny Still Life (Talking) Review”

  1. Nice review! Finally gave the album a proper listen last month and have it’s been on daily rotation since. Last Train Home is the song the group will always be known for to casual fans, but every track is strong in it’s own right. So what album next?


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