Album: Tindersticks

Waiting For The Moon, Beggars Banquet
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Waiting For The Moon, Beggars Banquet

The solemnity of Tindersticks' approach has at times exposed them to ridicule, only the hardest of hearts being able to hold back a chuckle at such misery presented with such unalloyed seriousness. But the welcome moves towards soul music that marked 1999's Simple Pleasure and 2001's Can Our Love... have brought a looseness and flexibility to their performances that pays big dividends on this sixth album. As the title suggests, it's a largely nocturnal affair, with Stuart Staples's tormented narrator either pacing sleeplessly, mulling obsessively over a former lover's night-time affairs in "Running Wild", or tortured by dreams of vengeance in "Until

the Morning Comes" ("My hands round your throat/ If I kill you now, well they'll never know"). The 10 songs negotiate the familiar Tindersticks terrain of lovelorn heartbreak and emotional distress, the aching loss nowhere better evoked than in the melancholy languor of "Sweet Memory", which is lightened by the most poignant of chorus hooks. Apart from "4.48 Psychosis", wherein words from Sarah Kane's play of that title are murmured over lumbering drone-rock in the manner of Neu! or the Velvets, the songs are presented with a pitiful elegance and empathy that makes Waiting For the Moon the high point so far of Tindersticks' career.