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The Hungry Saw [VINYL]

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Amazon's Tindersticks Store


Product details

  • Vinyl (12 May 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Beggars Banquet
  • ASIN: B0013LGETG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,067,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Nottingham cult band Tindersticks haven't put an album out since 2003's Waiting For the Moon, though frontman Stuart Staples passed the time with a couple of solo efforts and a major relocation to the other side of the channel. Recorded in his new French home studio, The Hungry Saw features a slimmed-down lineup consisting of Staples and other founder members Neil Fraser on guitar and David Boulter on keyboards. Augmented by hired hands, the core trio has produced an album that's pleasingly coherent in both tone and mood.

The atmosphere here is predominantly retro, feeding off the same fascination with the 50s and early 60s as evidently fuelled the younger Bryan Ferry. Staples has a Ferry-ish feel to his voice, too, and both favour a slightly mannered delivery pointed up by the retro touches - the spoken word melodrama on final track "The Turns We Took", the lounge-suit grand guignol of "The Hungry Saw" - a kind of "First Cut Is the Deepest" with added mythology.

Like 50s-obsessed magic realist movies Pleasantville and The Truman Show, the album is also suffused with plaintive melancholy, a kind of yearning for some unspecified lost innocence. It's most plainly expressed in the mysterious "Boobar Come Back To Me" and in the haunted "Mother Dear" which seems to beg for a return to the certainties of childhood. Elsewhere there are whirling instrumentals like the gorgeous "The Organist Entertains".

Like so many purveyors of past glories remerging right now, Tindersticks look set for a major return to form. Let's hope it catches fire.
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Format: Audio CD
Having heard Tindersticks waltz themselves into a really sticky corner with 2003's "Waiting for the Moon" - lovely record, don't misunderstand me, but did it attract one single devotee who hadn't already been along for the ride? - it was still a delight to note the arrival of a new record from old friends. That said, I couldn't help wondering how the new line-up was going to shake things up. Lord knows, they needed to.

Or so I thought. On an initial listen, I was actually quite irritated by the fact that the songs seemed to remind me of nothing more than older songs by the band themselves. "Bit of a yawn, if I'm honest" was how I described it to my wife, a fellow devotee of Stuart and Co.

Then, as we'd purchased tickets (as an act of faith) for their show at the RFH in London, I sat there feeling somewhat ashamed of myself. In a set which bookended some very judicious selections from the back catalogue with both halves of this new album, everything just completely opened up and made sense. How could I have doubted them, or worse still, taken them for granted? Oh ye of little faith!

So, butt duly kicked, I really have to tell anyone who wants to know, that this record contains a collection of truly beautiful songs by a band who have graced the last 15 or so years with a sheer class and singularity of vision which you really have to look hard to find equalled. Yes, Stuart still sounds like Stuart (Hooray!) and yes, the music still evokes exactly what it always has, romantic longing, smoke filled bars, a very adult sense of sophistication, Lee and Nancy, late nights, lipstick traces...all the good stuff. But beyond that, it works so beautifully as a suite of songs that it really transports you to another space, it rewards close attention in spades.
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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD
Have to agree with several other reviews I have read about this record making more sense after hearing it live. Had my doubts on first hearing "The Hungry Saw", but Tindersticks have always been a slow burner of a band. I owned "Curtains" for maybe a year before it worked its' way into my soul. You need to listen to this album several times before it works its' magic; but it is well worth the perserverance. Once it clicks, "The Hungry Saw" is simply gorgeous.
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