Tindersticks: Across Six Leap Years (City Slang) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Across Six Leap Years

City Slang

Jan 07, 2014 Tindersticks Bookmark and Share

You’ve got to admire Tindersticks’ endurance. Somehow, Stuart A. Staples’ ensemble has managed to make it beyond the 20-year mark. That’s despite the cinematic pretensions, the lack of any discernible hit, and, perhaps most impressively, Staples’ own inimitable croon. In almost every conceivable sense, Tindersticks are a band that shouldn’t have lasted. Yet here they are, two decades on, still going strong.

Across Six Leap Years is a celebration of this perseverance. It’s not a greatest hits (that would, of course, be too easy); it’s an Abbey Road-spawned reworking of 10 choice cuts that have punctuated their career to date. As Staples himself says: “Recording these songs again was not so much about righting past mistakes or inadequacies but more about the power of now.”

As a supposed artefact of Tindersticks today, these recordings miss the mark somewhat. Songs such as “If You’re Looking For a Way Out” or the sumptuous “She’s Gone” may be spruced up with crisper piano flutters and silkier production, but at their core they remain the same film-noir arrangements executed with identical levels of accomplishment as their original incarnations.

The question long-term Tindersticks fans will be looking to answer is: Is it worth the cash? The short answer is no. Sure, “Dying Slowly” is a string-laden, brass-stained beauty that could saturate the driest tear ducts, and the creeping key waltz of “What Are You Fighting For?” is a magnificent slither of velvet tenderness. But those who care already know that. And those who don’t? Well, they probably never will.

Yet, despite these imperfections, Across Six Leap Years reminds us that after more than 20 years, Tindersticks remain as polarizing as ever. And for that, it does its job admirably. (www.tindersticks.co.uk)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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