Exclaim! - - POP ROCKS -

The Wait­ing Room Over the course of a ca­reer now span­ning 25 years and 11 al­bums, Tin­der­sticks have proven them­selves reign­ing masters of melan­choly. The com­bi­na­tion of rich lay­ered in­stru­men­ta­tion, care­fully or­ches­trated strings and Stu­art Sta­ples’ evoca­tive vo­cals give feel­ings of loss and lone­li­ness a cin­e­matic grandeur, yet their con­sis­tently strong record­ings never lapse into sen­ti­men­tal ex­cess. They set the scene per­fectly with open­ing in­stru­men­tal, “Fol­low Me,” whose gen­tly swelling strings in­vite the lis­tener to fol­low Tin­der­sticks on what be­comes an en­chant­ing jour­ney. The group’s sig­na­ture sound re­mains, but un­ortho­dox ar­range­ments and in­stru­men­ta­tion keep things in­ter­est­ing. For in­stance, “Se­cond Chance Man” be­gins sparsely and at a snail’s pace un­til brassy horns give it an adrenaline boost. Horns re­turn atop a vaguely African rhythm on cool cut “Help Your­self,” a song fea­tur­ing Sta­ples in an un­usu­ally light­hearted vein. Jehnny Beth of Savages guests on “We Are Dream­ers,” while “How He En­tered” is moody spo­ken word atop more rich or­ches­tra­tion. The stone cold killer track here is “Hey Lucinda,” a duet fea­tur­ing the tran­scen­dent and gor­geous voice of late great Cana­dian songstress Lhasa (a close friend of Sta­ples). Horns, strings and wood­winds com­ple­ment the pair­ing of their two dis­tinc­tive

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