Tindersticks: Waiting For The Moon

Tindersticks: Waiting For The Moon

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Tindersticks

Album: Waiting For The Moon
Label: Beggars Banquet

Tracking the subtle changes made by Tindersticks over the past 10 years requires measuring in microns: The gloomy British band created its own windswept, string-laden world with an incredible self-titled debut in 1993, and has lived almost entirely within that world over the course of six studio records and three soundtracks. Those not intimately taken in by Tindersticks' moroseness should be well served with just one or two of those, since exploring the differences, while often worth the time, can be a chore. Waiting For The Moon completes a tiny circumference, returning to the tempered cacophony of the group's early years and jettisoning the minute injections of soul administered to 2001's odd, not entirely successful Can Our Love... All the requisite Tindersticks pieces are in evidence, too: There's the depressing spoken-word entry ("4.48 Psychosis") delivered in Stuart Staples' defeated baritone, a duet with a downcast chanteuse ("Sometimes It Hurts" with Lhasa De Sala), and one marginally jaunty song ("Just A Dog") to break up the swelling soundtracks. The only notable difference on Waiting For The Moon is violinist and string arranger Dickon Hinchcliffe's increased vocal presence: His colorful leads on "Until The Morning Comes" and "Sweet Memory" provide a nice counterpoint to Staples' dark croon, and Hinchcliffe gets to start the album by singing "My hands 'round your throat / If I kill you now, will they ever know?" Otherwise, Waiting For The Moon covers familiar territory, a stretch of land between Nick Cave and Arab Strap that Tindersticks doesn't leave, even on vacation. It's a beautiful, brooding expanse, but a well-traveled one.

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