Tindersticks - Can Our Love

  by David McNamee

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

Tindersticks - Can Our Love

Label: Beggars Banquet
Format: CD
You’d think the flirtations with tasty faux-soul on 1999’s ‘Simple Pleasures’ would have lent Tindersticks some of the resilience of ‘What’s Going On?’ or ‘Let’s Stay Together’. But as their fifth LP


You’d think the flirtations with tasty faux-soul on 1999’s ‘Simple Pleasures’ would have lent Tindersticks some of the resilience of ‘What’s Going On?’ or ‘Let’s Stay Together’. But as their fifth LP eloquently proves, life’s still hard for the pub singers of Holloway. ‘Can Our Love…’ is all about those moments in life. Split-second epiphanies stretched into 4.29 excursions round the bottom of the wine glass. It’s a lush of an album, in every sense; drowning itself in misery and sounding sublime. Its message is unremittingly simple: Shit happens. But it looks cooler in sepia. Opening with a song called ‘Dying Slowly’ may be a bit like etching a big upside-down smiley face on your reputation, but I swear there’s moments in the languid lounge stylings where sparks are flying from the emotional discharge. Staples sounds like he’s been punctured so many times that choirs of angels could descend from the heavens and all you’d get from him is “Raining again? Ah, hell !'. But when he sings it’s genuinely affecting, almost embarrassingly passionate. Croaking the refrain "It seemed better than shooting myself" like he’s picking at the bullet holes in his psychic shield, growling through "I’ve got memories/ I keep them away from me" like the lines keep snagging on the skin. Try listening to it on minidisc while you’re walking down the street. It makes the whole world seem like it’s moving in time-lapse photography. This is what relationships sound like slowed down to the pace of snails and examined under the Hubble telescope. On occasions Stuart is staring down his feelings before they eat him, at others he’s baring his soul and screaming his head off. He’s a man in love with his own paranoia. Prising open the photo album for ‘No Man In The World’ we find a sort of grizzly confessional to a former conquest: "Sitting in the garden/Watching your house burn…wanting to explode’. Stuart’s disgusted by his own guilty satisfaction, but he pours out the poetry with the enthusiasm of a voyeur. "Don’t cherish your pretence" he sniffs coldly at one point. The voice is trembling so much by the time he hits the chorus of "Still feel the flames/Still feel the cold" that you can’t make out whether he’s singing feel or fear. Second to last song and his emotional defences have been burnt to a crisp but Staples still sings like he’s twisting every word out of his heart with a corkscrew . It won’t give you any answers; mainly because it doesn’t ask any questions - the emphasis isn’t on the ‘can?’ but the dot-dot-dot after all – but ‘Can Our Love…’ is blessed. There’s a purity in fallibility and this is an album of wretched self-consciousness, albeit one that isn’t afraid to swagger like a soldier and preach like a drunk. Music that makes you want to live that little bit more.

Track Listing:-

1 Dying Slowly
2 People Keep Comin Around
3 Tricklin
4 Can Our Love
5 Sweet Release
6 Don't Ever Get Tired
7 No Man In The World
8 Chilitetime

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Interview (2008)
Tindersticks - Interview
Melancholicists Tindersticks are returning in April with their first new studio album in five years, 'The Hungry Saw'. Anthony Strutt speaks to frontman Stuart Staples about it and why the band stripped down from a six piece to a three piece for its making

Live Reviews

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 2/5/2016
Tindersticks - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 2/5/2016
Dixie Ernill at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester watches Nottingham-based alternative rockers Tindersticks play a stunning two set gig, one of consisting old material and one of their entire latest album 'The Waiting Room', which comes accompanied by a short film for each song
Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 25/3/2010
Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London, 9/3/2010
Bridgewater Hall,Manchester, 4/10/2008
Royal Festival Hall, London, 3/5/2008
London Blackheath Halls

Digital Downloads


The Something Rain (2012)
Fine latest album from the much acclaimed Tindersticks, which proves to be slight departure from their usual sound
Falling Down a Mountain (2010)
Boobar Come Back to Me (2008)
The Hungry Saw (2008)
The Hungry Saw (2008)
Waiting For The Moon (2003)

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