Waiting for the Moon

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The fact that Waiting for the Moon isn't much more than another addition to Tindersticks' discography will be enough to keep the devout fans pleased. At this stage in the band's existence, it is mightily impressive that a mediocre record has yet to slip out of the den. However, neither this nor Can Our Love... threatens, at any point, to rival Simple Pleasure -- let alone anything that preceded it. Apart from the increased vocal presence of arranger and multi-instrumentalist Dickon Hinchcliffe, who provides a much-needed bittersweetness to counter Stuart Staples' familiar warble, there's not much to add apart from the fact that numerous dimensions from the band's past are sprinkled throughout. So, even more so than before, the casual fans will have difficulty pinning down the minor differences and developments that distinguish this album from the one that came before it. "Say Goodbye to the City," similar to the most fiery moments of the band's first record, builds a dramatic, storming rush of rumbling rhythm, blaring guitars, droning strings, and demented Tijuana brass. Just the same, "4.48 Psychosis" is a noisily agitated spoken word piece that gleans from Sarah Kane's same-named play. Though "Sometimes It Hurts," an elegant duet with Lhasa de Sala, makes the album seem all the more like a trip through the past, the still-present soul influences that ran through the previous two albums seem more like a logical extension. Few bands can get away with being in a holding pattern like Tindersticks. When they remain this potent -- indicated from the very first lines of the album, "My hands 'round your throat/If I kill you now, well, they'll never know" -- it's all but impossible to wish for the band's end.

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