Tindersticks

Waiting for the Moon (Beggars Group)

You are either for Tindersticks or you are against them. If you are for them, you are very, very for them--and all you need to know about the band's sixth and latest album, Waiting for the Moon, is that it follows the Trouble Every Day soundtrack on a breadcrumb trail back to form. Melting the bluesy melodies of the band's last two discs into songs mysterious, elliptical and heartbreaking, the record conjures with gestures what the early epics called on orchestras to perform. Big, no; deep, yes. It will make you cry.

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For those of you who are against Tindersticks--read on only if you are in the mood for a pulpit speech. After all, despite the above-described stylistic shape-shifting, not much has changed in Tinders-land in the dozen years since their debut. It remains a world where love devours you alive--an orgasmic parasite, heightening all the senses as it rages devastation--and their best songs are broadcasts from the moment of trembling resignation to the inevitable bad end. No other band has so elucidated love's unbridgeable distances and silences, illuminating the breach with music. The music is simpler now, a distillation of their desert-wandering experiments of years past that spills into so many rock/soul/country/pop sub-genres that it stakes a claim to its own. Their Hammond-drenched, strings-bleeding gothic sensibility either hits you where it hurts or it doesn't--but if it doesn't! Good parishioners--have you a soul?

 
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