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Old 04-04-2010, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Not Knowing:Tindersticks Assessed.


I'm endevouring to have reviews of all of Tindersticks' albums up here, so as to try and explain this lot to people. It's always surprised me how even this era of last.fm and spotify etc making it even easier than ever for people to find out about new music similiar to what they know and love, that acts like this who've recorded and toured for nearly 20 years continue to be overlooked whilst similiar artists like Nick Cave and The National reap critical pluadits and commercial breakthroughs. Hence, in tribute to one of the most underrated bands of the last 20 years, I endevour to review the following
Tindersticks(1993)
Tindersticks[II](1995)
Curtains(1997)
Simple Pleasure(1999)
Can Our Love(2001)
Waiting For The Moon(2003)
The Hungry Saw(2008)
Falling Down A Mountain(2010)
Lost Dogs:B-Sides And Rarities(2000)

Leader of Tindersticks, Stuart A Staples, has written some truly remarkable material which retains it's originality to this day, and continues to be a marvel in it's stylistic variety, constant change from album to album and remarkable lyrical prowess. Just so as to get some idea as to what to expect, the Tindersticks' sound can be described as a fusion of the romanticism of Ian Curtis, the literary songwriting of Leonard Cohen, the atmospheric pop of early Scott Walker and the musical inventiveness of Tom Waits.




First review at some point within 3/4 Days.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All I've got of theirs are the second album and Curtains, both of which I remember being pretty cool. Haven't listened to either in an age or two though.

Looking forward to this. Good luck with the thread eh.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tindersticks
In 1993, this was met with ecstatic praise by the UK music press. It's not to see why they would have been so keen on something like this, considering how little else like this was emerging at the time. Even without the brilliant 1991 version of Talk To Me which first got tongues wagging, the album was received as one of the year's masterpieces. But 17 years later, and in the wake of followers such as The National,Arab Strap and The Dears making this sound somewhat familiar, it is time to reassess this to see if it holds up.

The album begins with the Beatlesesque pop of Nectar, which would take anyone whose knowledge of the Tindersticks consists of their reputation as emotionally despondent merchants of doom would suggest. However, lyrically the track is a primer for what is to come, with it's lyrics lamenting a crushing loneliness from a love having run it's course. The album then reveals it's true colours on Tyed and Whiskey and Water, both far more musically challenging and lyrically bleak pieces which show how impressive the band's instrumental ability and willingness to experiment are even on this debut record. The only things which unite the songs on this album are the themes of loss, alienation, lust and despair, with the album straying over territory from Leonard Cohen-esque ballardry( the startlingly dark Piano Song), to flamenco numbers (Her) to a kind of warped pop that suggests Lee Hazlewood singing the songs of Tom Waits(City Sickness, Patchwork). Despite all this, the album is never inaccessible, perfectly sequenced so as to accomadate a wide variety of moods and styles perfectly, and smartly using instrumentals and spoken word interludes to create a cinematic feel to the proceedings, albeit a film which dosn't exist which suggests some odd hybrid of French New Wave, Sweet Smell Of Success and British kitchen sink dramas of the early 60's. Whilst that may sound bizarre, Staples' vocals and the band's playing manage to make this concept fully convincing, and hit upon a sound which whilst looking to the past manages to sound not in the slightest retro and fully developed.

In conclusion, a startingly mature and fully realised debut which never comes across as overambitous or unoriginal by virtue of it's brilliantly creative meshing of influences, excellent songwriting and sense of possibilty. Whilst Tindersticks may have made better albums, they never made one with quite this sense of possibility and energy.
9.5
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Tindersticks[II]
After the rapture in the music press that greeted their debut, Tindersticks didn't shy away from the follow-up, creating possibly their finest record in the proccess. The record is every bit as ambitious as the debut, and could not under any circumstances be described as uplifting. It begins with the astoundingly cinematic El Diablo En El Ojo, in which Stuart Staples warns us "there's things you gotta see....", a promise bourne out by the second track A Night In, with all the glorious promise of tracks such as Blood and Raindrops from the debut fuffilled as Staples mourns his failure in a relationship to Walker-esque strings. The rest of the album remains as strong as this throughout, sacrificing the widescreen tapestry of the debut in favour of focus, with the album sticking to their balladeering strengths for the most part. Whilst the tone of the record may be bleak, there is humour in tracks like the inspired My Sister, and constant musical invention throughout the album, with the songwriting being some of the strongest of the 90's. Wonerful tracks such as the lovesick "Seaweed" and the bittersweet Travelling Light ensure the record is never a dirge.

In conclusion, one of the best records of the 1990's, and essential listening for any fan of quality songwriting and Scott Walker.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tindersticks are one of my favourite bands ever. "Curtains" has to be my favourite album of theirs, but its a close call.
I saw them about a month ago in Edinburgh, they have a great live sound. Stuart Staples voice was incredible as usual, it was just a pity about the ****heads in the crowd shouting out for "Tiny Tears".
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tindersticks were really on top of their game when they recorded this record. They had just finished recording and released an amazing debut of this until a year later. And I wonder how anyone could leave a lot of good music and such short period of time, especially today when most artists need 2-3 years to come up with creative enough for the entire album. Basically filler Free Record fundamentally believe that everyone can enjoy playing. I play this all the time while I'm at work, and people always ask me to come with it not only elderly people, but people of all ages. I really do not think this band is available on this disc. They only combine so many good elements in their music, which almost always works. Oh, and songwriter is not too shabby either.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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*cough*
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Forgot about this, will be getting back to work on it at some point.
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