Tribute compilations can be notoriously, messy affairs: the weird jumble of conflicting artists often seal such collections' fate as uneven full listens, plus there's always a tendency for some of the 'bigger' contributors to kick up a rather exasperating whiff of self-indulgence in the process. Unfortunately, this thirty-song homage to the spirit of the 80s' most marvellously underrated band (not your service provider) mostly agrees with such pre-conceptions. Although, despite the bulk of Spirit Of Talk Talkbeing made up of lifeless mistreatments of melancholy belters - the sort that would be at best, perfect fodder for a renovation unveiling on C4's Property Ladder - it occasionally dazzles with inspired brilliance.

Firstly, the handling of Spirit Of Eden's 'The Rainbow' by breathy Guillemots kook Fyfe Dangerfield and Thomas Feiner's battered baritone is far from unmoving. Haunting chamber harmonies and trembling strings are combined here to chilling effect and provide an eerily majestic take on the nine-minute-plus '88 original. Then there's outright standout King Creosote, whose fragile vocals are shiver inducing and turn the croon-pomp of 'Give It Up' into a weepy, French-tinged acoustic lament to savour. Again, at the climax of side one, Jack Northover takes on '?' and announces himself as an evocative talent to watch – such is his Johnny Flynn-like vulnerability and wonderful DIY folk vision.

However, for every outstanding transformation (such as the above) there are three or more limp dirges in between to contend with. Zero 7 challenge themself with poignant Mark Hollis piano-ballad 'The Colour of Spring', but completely strip it of its emotion – making it hollow and uninviting. Then there's a plethora of moody ad-libbed futility (S.Carey, Duncan Sheik, Zelienople), ethereal boredom-inducers (Halloween, Alaska and The Last Dinosaur) and one pretty lacklustre pub cover with The Tenfivesixty's chorus-teasing take on megahit 'It's My Life'. Most upsetting of all, by the time the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry rolls around with a probably-glorious 'I Believe In You' twenty-nine songs in, patience has well and truly dried up.

So who's this for then? Surely, devotees of the band won't appreciate some of the butchery their arsenal of hits receives and equally, there's not enough magnificent reworkings on offer to lure a new, younger audience. Maybe, fans would be far safer with the companion book - boasting rich illustration, a love letter by Elbow's Guy Garvey and James Marsh's iconic artwork – and, for everyone else, well, the spirit will best live on with some choice downloads. May we suggest, a certain Fife singer-songwriter?