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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on September 16, 2008
Nottingham's Tindersticks are old hands when it comes to that sort of classy, noirish romanticism. "The Hungry Saw" is yet more of that Tindersticks sctick, but again the music is too immaculately conceived to take them for granted.
The last few years have seen Tindersticks take a back foot as Staples concentrated on his solo work.
In 2006 the band performed at "Don't Look Back" concert series, which although being hailed as a great success marked the ending of the band as a six piece. With half the band leaving, it was time to take stock. And so they did eventually relocate to Staples' home in France to produce "The Hungry Saw".
Spawned in the belly of Staples' Le Chien Chanceux studio, this is an understated record. It is bound to please fans both old and new, presenting the dark, brooding regret still in full effect, the battered soul boy, surrounded by horn swells, twinkling keys and clanking guitar stabs in full effect on "Yesterdays Tomorrow".
For those who feared "Waiting For The Moon" was the irrevocable swansong, "The Hungry Saw" will provide a refreshed, welcome return, but some of the old dissolute glamour is gone
The album is a complex and highly introspective venture, and makes no bones about it: this is an album for Tindersticks, by Tindersticks, and steadfastly refuses to stray from this.
Stuart Staples still sounds like he's on the verge of tipping over into full-on pub singer delivery at various points but, as this is a beautifully measured album, the rest of the band have managed to restrain him in order to deliver a cohesive collection of mellow melancholia.
You may be required to dig pretty deep to find a level on which to engage with music so heavily maudlin. It would be easy to ascribe - or dismiss - "The Hungry Saw" with implications of bleak cloudiness or film noir, but look hard enough (on "The Other Side of the World" or "E-type", for example) and it's apparent that the album does carry a veiled tenderness with a very human constituent.
Flutes, tambourines and trumpets lend a Sufjan-esque folk revue flavour to "The Flicker Of A Little Girl".
Stuart Staples and his band seem to have mellowed with age, and are able to take themselves with a pinch of salt (during the sumptuous "Mother Dear" Staples utters the phrase "it's not so serious, after all").
Tindersticks know their craft, and can execute it with finesse.
It grows on you and haunts you.
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VINE VOICEon June 24, 2008
It can be fiscally dangerous for a band to remain out of the public eye for as long a Tindersticks has. Five years seem an eternity and in the pre-digital age, such a long absence would likely have been something from which the band would be unable to recover. Fortunately, in this age of nearly instant information a band can conceivably alternately wax and wane in the public consciousness with few if any negative consequences for its long-term popularity.
While the new incarnation of the Tindersticks shows little of the edginess which characterized its early albums, The Hungry Saw is immediately recognizable as a Tindersticks album. The voice of Stuart Staples has a quality all its own and though Dickon Hinchliffe is missed, there is a continuity in the style of the arrangements that will bring joy to the fan on this long-awaited return.
The Hungry Saw starts with a tinkling piano intro that evokes the soundtrack for Trouble Every Day then segues into a somber vocal groove that unfortunately does not resume until All The Love later brings the listener back to the original mood. Though this is not the band's best effort, there are some tunes which are quite good. I most like Yesterday's Tomorrows, Come Feel the Sun, The Other Side of the World, and the instrumentals E-Type and The Organist Entertains. I also enjoy The Flicker of A Little Girl, the title cut, and Boobar Come Back To Me although these last three are somewhat spoiled by lame background vocals.
The Hungry Saw comes with a handsome booklet containing lyrics and pertinent album information. No matter which Tindersticks album and style was previously your favorite, you are almost sure to be quite delighted by this. Lets hope the next album comes before another five years pass.
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on December 15, 2008
This album grows on you like all Tindersticks albums do. I enjoy a lot of music of today, but not too many if any have the quality that the Tindersticks do. Hard to take this out of the cd player. They are musical geniuses lyrically and instrumentally. I hope they come back to US again this coming year, I was lucky to see them 5 years ago or so in SF. Cannot see how anyone can give this less then 5 stars. I hope they don't give it up anytime soon.
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on October 26, 2008
Tindersticks albums are soundtracks whether there is a movie attached or not. They are perfect for the group/wine/conversation/party/background. Hungry Saw is just another example of why Tindersticks has to be.
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on February 10, 2015
I always enjoy Stuart Staples. this one is acceptable, not out standing
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on January 27, 2009
I am a huge fan of the band. I've allways found them to be moving, cinematic, and all around perfect, with a repertoire that ranges from chamber pop ballads, jazzy and cinematic instrumentals, spanish and mariachi infused rock and recently even a soulfull stroke. I quite enjoyed Waiting on the moon, with wich alot of fans seem to have a problem with (I though it was vastly superior to Can our love - which nonetheless features what might be my favorite 'sticks song "people keep coming around")and i though it encapsulated very efficiently the different shades of the sticks sound.
When i first heard the hungry saw i had no idea that some of the members of the band had left. After listening to the album it felt altogether uninspiring and somewhat bland in comparision to what i'm used to get from the band. It somewhat sounded like a Staples solo album but with a full backing band. And them i found out that Dickon left. Everything made sense then.
Staples is obviously the primary if not only songwriter in the band now. Lucky for us the man has talent! In short it's still a good album and actually one of the best of the year (much better than all the overhyped stuff that passes as brilliant these days) but it isn't nowhere near as inspired and amazing as their previous efforts, including "Can Our Love". It's a three star by Tindersticks standards for me.
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on January 4, 2015
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on October 14, 2008
Wow.....I hope as long as i'm alive Tindersticks keep releasing great music. Much better than therapy, it remains as a background CD during dinner with great wine and friends. Delicate and intriguing, like a house of cards about to fall down, I hope this goes on forever.
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