The Something Rain CD
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A grainy, gritty depiction of real life, The Something Rain is the ninth album from the Nottingham avant-pop outfit led by Stuart Staples. It begins with Chocolate, a 10-minute spoken word tale set over an ambient, off-kilter, lounge-jazz soundscape, whose devilish punch line offsets the lugubrious, dour atmosphere of the piece. It’s an epic way to begin an album and a sure-fire indication that convention still plays no part in the compositions of the band.
Rarely a band to overly concern themselves with commercial successes, their last album, 2010’s Falling Down a Mountain, barely scraped the top 100 over here (but, oddly, made it to number two in the Greek charts). That, of course, is a good thing, allowing Staples and his often-changing cast of musicians to experiment, following their own idiosyncratic route rather than the whims of a record label.
At times, the results here are slightly obtuse, as on the melancholy fairground loop of A Night So Still or the creeping unease of Come Inside. But there’s something about Staples’ dulcet tone that, whatever direction the music takes, offers a sense of warmth and comfort to the listener – even if, at times, it’s also slightly disconcerting.
Still, The Something Rain is an album that demands attention. It’s not an easy listen, but it manages, somehow, to act as a kind of a soundtrack to your life, regardless of whether the specifics of the songs are in any way related to your own situation or experiences. Best saved for grey, gloomy days when the sky is covered by cloud – and let’s face it, there are enough of those – the likes of Frozen and instrumental outro/closer Goodbye Joe certainly summon a very English ennui, but one that’s wrapped in dual, conflicting layers of stoicism and sadness.
It may not be a Tindersticks classic, in the same vein as 1997’s sublime Curtains, but The Something Rain is a record full of mystery and intrigue that will keep you listening – and discovering new things each time – for a good while.
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Top Customer Reviews
Thereafter, proverbial monkey off their back, the Tindersticks demonstrate their mastery of their art, whether one calls it "noir bossa-nova", "existential easy listening" or countless other amusing epithets bandied around in the last week. For me though, on tracks like "Slippin' Shoes", they simply confirm their status as the best British soul band since Dexys Midnight Runners. For those previously divided by Stuart Staples' baroque croon, it is not nearly as theatrical as previously (save, perhaps, for "A Night So Still") and simply amounts to an integral part of the band's overall sound.
And so, in answer to the ultimate question as to whether I would recommend this, the answer is "yes" for while the Tindersticks do not exactly break new ground this is a worthy addition to their impressive catalogue, as suitable as any introduction for the curious (sequencing excepted) and very simply something rather good indeed.
I was thinking about three stars review, but it's Tindersticks after all and it is still great band, avant-garde rather than pop; uncompromising, even if primitive at times; I admire them for it. That's the price you pay for independence (and too much wine).
However, they gradually move away from the enchanted melodies of The Curtains or Waiting for the Moon in a different direction, more decadent, more uncertain, which is all fine, but the last instrumental piece of the album is shallow and does the album harm. The electro-synthetic sound they use increasingly is fine, minimalist, but for me only tolerable. Those little symphonies of previous albums and their film scores, were much more to my liking. That's where melancholy dwells... in the sounds of real instruments, not their digital clones.
Album well worth buying and listening to, however...
This new album was, for me, a disappointment after the excellent Falling Down the Mountain. There are a couple of decent songs here; Show me Everything and This Fire of Autumn being the standouts for me. However, this album seems to be more about drifting soundscapes than well constructed songs. Tindersticks have always done that sort of thing, but this time those soundscapes are the core of the album rather than interludes.
There are some atmospheric sounds here but the overall effect, bar a couple of tracks, is music that washes over you and which seems designed for the background rather than close listening.
It takes a while to get going. The opening, somewhat interminable "Chocolate" is gorgeous musically, but it's slightly annoying & poorly mixed monologue felt like a bad omen for the l.p. as a whole when I first played it & would've been better placed mid-album I think? Second song "Show Me Everything" would've made a superior opener, & is far more representative of The Something Rain's top class suite of crestfallen Tindersticks chanson. You either love them or can't stand them I suppose &, as per John Peel's legendary Fall adage, they're "always different, always the same". Stuart remains Stuart, a Marmite vocalist you'll either adore or detest, but the band have audibly evolved since I last heard them, & there's an alluring weather-beaten maturity to much of the music herein. They've finally filled out those jumble sale suits of old, & middle aged spread becomes them.
The Something Rain is a fine album. And, who knows, perhaps "Chocolate" will grow on me eventually too?
The different elements of the band are all here: slightly gothic abstraction; off-beat jazz inflections; great spoken word story; spacious, soulful romanticism. Often, there's a groove that just carries this all along beautifully, sweeping the album by until it's ready to start again.
This is an album by a band sure of who it is, what it does and delighting in being itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love vinyl and this is an excellent addition to my collection will keep looking for more new records as you are quite cheapPublished on 16 Mar. 2014 by russ how
This album hits my soul the best yet from the wonderful Tinderstcks. So looking forward to seeing them in Amsterdam in Oct.Published on 28 April 2013 by mrs patricia kilburn
Tindersticks does not break new ground with this album, but for long time fans, this album is like a pair of old socks: unfashionable, comfortable and utterly endearing.Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by pathetichindsight
What in Gods green earth were these musicians ( I use this term loosely) thinking!
Two hippos copulating whilst using road salt as a lubricant would sound more coherent... Read more
This cd is like the old good cd's of tindersticks.
Once again they make the songs whiches we love this group.
I hadn't brought a Tindersticks album in years and decided to give this a try after reading a few good reviews. Read morePublished on 17 May 2012 by A. Stanhope
Fantastic album, Stuart Staples' voice does not loose any of its enigmatic charm. Never tire if listening to this onePublished on 17 May 2012 by SPOP