Tindersticks The Something Rain

TindersticksThe Something Rain
After spending part of 2011 presenting live shows in support of their box set of film scores, recently released on Constellation, the Tindersticks continue to find themselves in a cinematic mood. Their ninth album in 20 years kicks off with "Chocolate," a languid spoken work piece by David Boulter, a seduction drama with a quirky twist in its tail (à la Crying Game), given a slinky boost by Terry Edwards' saxophone contributions. That peculiar opening gambit showcases both the band's now-effortless interplay and a sense of whimsy that often risks invisibility within the dressed-up austerity of their complex arrangements. Even "more serious" turns like "Slippin' Shoes" are treated with retro soul horns and boho-bongo percussion, pulling them out of turgid heaviness. Stuart Staples' quavering baritone and lyrical play continue to carve the band's broad niche between Roxy Music's lasciviousness and the National's abstract romanticism. It's a wide landscape that Tindersticks illuminate with a palette of both vivid and muted colours.