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Simple Pleasure

You know what to expect. The lugubrious bemoaning of broken relationships. The baritone voice, somewhere between [B]Heather Small[/B] and [B]Vic Reeves[/B]....

Simple Pleasure

8 / 10 You know what to expect. The lugubrious bemoaning of broken relationships. The baritone voice, somewhere between Heather Small and Vic Reeves. The inconsolable sadness, the velvety, hushed purr of night. Tindersticks have etched themselves so deeply under the skin of melancholy they can only be embedded there forever. Yet when you hear the lithe click and jangle of opener 'Can We Start Again?' - in which Stuart Staples seems to be renouncing "looking over my shoulder at the dark" in favour of some sort of emotional renaissance - you think, perhaps, that Tindersticks have finally decided to release the bats, and bring on the dancing horses instead.

/img/Tindersticks899.jpg, Staples croons, as though already feeling gravely uncomfortable about the wispy optimism of those first two songs.

From here on out we're back in familiar Tindersticks territory - the weeping Hammond of 'If She's Torn', the tentative creep of '(You Take) This Heart Of Mine'. If there's a shift, it's towards a more resonant, swelling soul, as the wailing backing singers in 'I Know That Loving' attest.

But the half-smile and hint of rejuvenation in 'Can We Start Again?' is mere deception. Tindersticks have again spirited us back to their natural habitat, where grief is glorious and misery is unfathomably majestic. Really, there's no reason to ever leave.

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