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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2008
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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on 12 May 2008
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. It's also this band's most "organic" sounding record ever, with absolutely nothing sounding forced. Maybe it's this quality, above all else, which the band were striving for during their lengthy hiatus.

Some great bands - Radiohead spring immediately to mind- exhilarate by taking dramatic left turns and pulling them off by dint of sheer talent. Others clearly know when they are on to something worthwhile and their careers follow an arc of refinement. Tindersticks are in the latter group. "The Hungry Saw" is another great chapter in their intriguing story and I hope there are many more to come. This is one of their best, however, and will suffice for some considerable time.

If Sebastian Faulks' truly wonderful novel "On Green Dolphin Street" ever get's filmed, they could do a lot worse than use this as the soundtrack. This band virtually lives in that beautifully rendered love affair.

Yes, that good.
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on 4 December 2008
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 14 May 2008
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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on 6 May 2008
I've tried to give this album every chance, but in the end its a disappointment. I'm a long time fan of Tindersticks, have (and adore) all their albums and have seen them play. I was thrilled to see a return to making music as a band, even without Dickon Hincliffe et al.

With this album, the three remaining members of the band have gone for a stripped down sound, trying to take the band back to its essence. To a large extent they have suceeded in that goal- the sound is unmistakably Tindersticks, whilst being less smooth and polished, and less layered. I make no criticism of the sound- it is an artistic choice, and a valid one.

However, in stripping down the sound, they have lost something else which is equally important- they have stripped down the sense of rhythm and melody which is so fundamental to the band's songs. There are fragments of melody and rhythm here and there which hint at something greater, but then that instinct to strip the sound back, seems to have choked the melodies at the point of creation. This leaves occasional short evocative lines and sounds, which then frustrate because they dont go where an ear attuned to Tindersticks is wanting them to go.

We get a plodding, introspective (perhaps self indulgent?) Tindersticks album which never really takes off. The overall sound and melancholia is there, but the songs just arent.

Ive listened to the album to and from work in the car since its release, and still cannot fall in love with it. Indeed, I would struggle (sitting here typing) to recall a single melody or song. This may reward repeat listening but seasoned fans should approach with some caution.
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on 27 January 2013
Good condition and an affordable option to listen to another great album from the one of best British Bands of the last 20 years
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on 7 May 2008
The lineup of Stuart Dave and Neil is not missing the other players. The new line up has refreshed them and whilst they are still cooler than cool they are approachable and after seeing thenm at the Royal Festival Hall enjoying themselves and mucking in and loving it I don't ever want to come back from this place.
Thank you
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on 17 January 2015
Quick delivery, item as expected.
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on 7 October 2015
Nothing special.
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on 23 January 2009
Tindersticks have been a favourite for years - admittedly not everyone's cup of tea, more like a cup of Lapsang Souchong or glass of Laphraoig - love it or hate it. This is, dare I say it, their best album in years - a fully rounded album that has moments of pure beauty - The Other Side of the World - and moments of just plain good tunes - Boobah, The Hungry Saw. If you haven't been, then do, and enjoy, with whatever tipple takes your fancy.
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