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4.7 out of 5 stars19
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2004
The first two Tindersticks album are both confusingly called Tindersticks. For anybody who doesn't know this is the second one. Such eponymous shenanigans aside this is another thrilling ride through the darkness with the band. You get the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra inspired 'Travelling Light' with Carla Torgerson of the Walkabouts in the Sinatra role. Then there's the dark balladry of 'Tiny Tears'. 'My sister' is a blackly humorous spoken recital reminiscent of the Velvet Underground's 'The Gift' . This is tremendous stuff. The orchestrations are a step up from their debut album with Terry Edwards supplying trumpet, saxophone and french horn. This is the probably the best value package of the recent reissues as the 'Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre 12.3.95' bonus disc was previously released in it's own right, albeit in limited numbers. It features accomplished versions, with strings attached, of most of the second album with several songs ('City Sickness', 'Jism', 'Drunk Tank', 'Rain Drops' ) from the first album also featured. Assuming the album is actually sequenced in the same order as the performance, after warming up with 'El Diablo En El Ojo' and 'A Night In' , the band hit their stride with an urgent version of 'Talk To Me'. The version of 'City Sickness' is blistering. Rapid fire drumming and brass squeals underpin 'Vertrauen 2'. In a live context some of these songs sound less claustrophic, but sometimes more frantic, than they do on the studio albums. Stuart Staples is in fine voice (well, fine gravelly voice) throughout. Essential.
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VINE VOICEon 13 June 2008
It,s so confusing . After releasing their debut called imaginatively Tindersticks the band released their follow up album in 1995 . A double album it too was called even less imaginatively Tindersticks , though it is referred to as The Second album by fans. Like i say it,s a tad confusing but i,m willing to forgive the band just about anything for The Second album is the finest thing they have ever done....a ravishing collection of consummate songs performed with the bands requisite scuffed majesty .
If anything this album saw the band expand their trademark sound from their debut . There is the usual array of guitars, violin, trumpet, vibraphone, glockenspiel , bassoon , organ, clarinet etc but the sound was considerably fleshed out with lush and dramatic string arrangements courtesy of then band member Dickon James Hinchcliffe.
While these are a key element in making this album so special what really elevates The Second Album into the truly extraordinary is the quality of the song writing . There are half a dozen songs on this album that see this terrific band right at the height of their fulsome powers.
Though the album has the epic dark comedy of "My Sister", sprightly instrumental interludes, the wistful regret of "No More Affairs" and the burnished waltz of "She,s Gone" the real joy comes from a series of monumental ballads. "Travelling Light" is a duet featuring Carla Torgensen of the excellent Walkabouts. The vocal interplay between her slightly weary textured voice and Stuart Staples nicotine stained mumble is superb and the stately strings give the song a portentous weight. "Mistakes" builds ominously with Staples intoning regretfully about "Mistakes i,ve made , like the one, you know the one" and how "I,ve had my strings cut" before a gut wrenching crescendo. The tumbling piano on "Talk To Me" gives a sinuous spine to broad brooding strings and a tale of regret. However the albums real tour de force is "Tiny Tears" .This song stands , for me , as the bands single finest moment -a monumental ballad with an empathetic expressive string arrangement, a truly breath taking sweeping middle eight and arguably Stuart Staples finest vocal performance. The most lavish praise i can heap on this song is that it would,nt sound out of place on The Divine Comedy,s extraordinary "A Short Album About Love".
This album is right up there with my favourite double albums....hell, it,s up there with my favourite albums, double or otherwise. It,s one of those albums that once you hear the first notes of opening track "El Diablo En El Ojo" you have to listen to in full.It might be confusing to have two albums called Tindersticks but you really can,t go wrong with either of them . For me though this is The Tindersticks album to own...irrespective of moniker. An enrapturing invigorating experience that leaves you in awe of it,s musicianship and euphorically bereft at the frailty of human relationships.
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on 26 November 2000
Good as they are, none of the Tindersticks' other LPs come close to matching this stunning effort. Quite simply, every track is a winner - something of an achievement given that there's sixteen in total - but the standouts are the black comedy of My Sister, Tiny Tears and possibly their best song, Travelling Light.

Not to everyone's taste, sure, but not everyone has such good taste as Tindersticks fans...
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on 14 November 2005
The fragile voice of Stuart Staples and the exquisite combination of the Tindersticks mini-orchestra return for their second album; and whilst it’s not as accomplished as its older brother, the wide range of styles across the tracks only serve to highlight the real gems from the rest.
Herein lies the only real problem with the album, in my opinion many of the tracks can easily be discarded as average and just fill the gaps between the extraordinary stand-out songs. The first of these is worth its weight in gold though – ‘My sister’, lyrically it’s a masterpiece in spoken word from the very start – ‘Do you remember my sister? How many mistakes did she make with those never blinking eyes? I couldn’t work it out. I swear she could read your mind, your life, the depths of your soul at one glance’, and musically it reaches Olympian heights and may well still serve as their finest song. This is followed by ‘Tiny tears’, which is one of the best ballads written about love gone wrong you will ever hear. Two other tracks are worth sticking on repeat and they are ‘Seaweed’, which has a sublime and haunting piano rift that eventually gets under your skin. Plus the triumphant ‘Mistakes’ which slowly builds before sweeping you away and really should have been the finale.
I don’t want to be too critical of the Tindersticks as a band, as this is a very worthy follow up to their first release, and again this version is ably supplemented by an extra live CD which includes some of their best songs. It’s just a more hit and miss effort, so be prepared for a less polished album than the first one, still they remain head and shoulders over many of their peers.
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on 16 April 2001
This is an album that'll lift you up and break your heart at the same time - the perfect late night listening. I couldn't imagine life without these songs, especially Travelling Light and Mistakes. No exaggeration, every last note of this is wonderful.
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on 29 October 2011
Probably the second best late night album ever made, I have just listened to this and it's predecessor again and they are both as fresh and just downright magnificent as they were when I first heard them, I love this band.
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on 1 February 2013
Tindersticks at their majestic best, CD was in good quality and was an excellent acquisition. If you ar new to the Tindersticks start by getting this album. A Classic
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on 16 May 2012
Give me an armchair and a tumbler of whisky and Im happy. Give me the Tindersticks II on play and I am exceedingly happy. Unabashed indulgence.
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on 27 July 2010
tindersticks 2nd album and their second best one too. Get the first album...but then again you probably have.
Anyway about my sister.....
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on 16 July 2015
One of the pleasures of retirement is catching up with music I missed first time around. I do like Tindersticks 1 & Curtains, however their second album is a real treasure - the orchestral backing of Stuart Staples' voice is wonderful. "A night in", Tiny tears", "Snowy...", "No more affairs" & "Travelling light" are all brilliant and bear repeated playing - it takes at least 3/4 hearings to appreciate just how good this CD is. Easily in my top 10.
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