PRINT November 1997


the Tindersticks

THE TINDERSTICKS’ shy demeanor belies the passion and sensual undercurrent of their music. Vocalist Stuart Staples half speaks, half sings his lyrics with a deep, smoky burr, and they roll with impulsive ease. The decadent, orchestral string arrangements are reminiscent of film scores by John Barry and Ennio Morricone. Guests on “Curtains,” the band’s third studio album, include Cuban trumpeter Jesus Alemafiy, who gives the brass arrangements a sultry, soaring mix. Staples’ duet with Isabella Rossellini on “A Marriage Made In Heaven” sounds like Serge Gainsbourg paired with Brigitte Bardot, his husky tone enlivened by her sexy laugh.

Their fear of formula is what led the band originally to make this release, “The Final Tindersticks Album. ”The eclectic results inspired them to stay together and rename the album “Curtains,” curtains that will reopen as they tour with a new batch of lullabies (like “Dick’s Slow Song”) that play to the slow-burning despair of smoldering hearts: “It doesn’t matter what you see, you’re beautiful to me, it doesn’t matter what they say, I want you anyway.”

David Poole