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Can Our Love...

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Album Review

A new label and a renewed sense of collaboration between the members of one of England's finest resulted in Can Our Love..., the loosest record yet in Tindersticks' decade-long existence. Here, they've lost all remaining self-consciousness. The listener is all the better for it. This lack of self-consciousness is the good kind — the kind derived from locking into place and letting things come naturally, chucking any degree of preconception out of the window. Between the spare instrumentation, crepuscular tempos, and somber coursing of Stuart Staples' voice throughout "Can Our Love" and "No Man in the World," one wouldn't have to be too inebriated to mistake parts of the album for Sam Cooke's Night Beat played at the wrong speed. On "People Keep Comin' Around," perhaps their best moment yet, it sounds as if they heard the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" and decided to speed up the tempo a notch and strip away the false dramatics, fashioning it into a seven-minute pearl custom fit for '70s soul radio. "Chilitetime" may not be a medley containing parts of "Have You Seen Her?" or "Are You My Woman?," but it's another extended slow dazzle warbler that doesn't outstay its welcome. And if "Dying Slowly" and "Don't Ever Get Tired" ring of garden variety quality, you're taking them for granted. There's no use in going into further detail — all the proper ingredients are in full effect.


Formed: 1992 in Nottingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tindersticks were one of the most original and distinctive British acts of the '90s, standing apart from both the British indie scene and the rash of Brit-pop guitar combos that dominated the U.K. charts. Where their contemporaries were often direct and to the point, Tindersticks were obtuse and leisurely, crafting dense, difficult songs layered with literary lyrics, intertwining melodies, mumbling vocals, and gently melancholy orchestrations. Essentially, the group filtered the dark romanticism...
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