Another Night In
A Review of "Across Six Leap Years" by the Tindersticks - James S. Ryan, November 4, 2013
On September 6, 2013, Stuart A. Staples described the context of recording Across Six Leap Years with the Netherlands media organization FaceCulture, whose focus is video recording interviews, unplugged sessions, events, press conferences and presentations of music artists. In short, Staples compares the effort to 2004's Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music where fans have two distinctly versions of selected songs.
Granted, Bonnie Prince set his sights to imprint 15 Palace songs with an eccentric mix of Music City kitsch and mainstream Countrypolitan backed by Nashville's most legendary session players. The results are sonically grandiose yet aesthetically less appealing than future Bonnie "Prince" Billy studio collaborations. Alternatively, Stuart A. Staples and company rely on their subtle emotive changes to anchor Across Six Leap Years with intimate production values, and substantially less-is-more, consistently minimalist approach.
However, the Tindersticks are far from formulaic as each selection presents an opportunity for the listener to dive deeper into the vibe of the original cut. Here the group demonstrates years of mastering the artistic sensibilities of creation, innovation, and re-creation--eschewing any portents of complacency or exercises into derivative folly. After frequent listens, the results are an immaculate, if not laid back and assured recording; proving a Tindersticks constant--a restraint for the banal and ardent in refusal to paint by numbers.
Only lesser bands fall trap to the self-absorbed and self-indulgent studio wizardry that lacks any musical transcendence or opportunity for depth. Conversely, Across Six Leap Years presents a warm, self-effacing set; rich in artistic curiosity, ingeniously exquisite in arrangements, and delivered with a soulful world-weary empathy, while thoughtfully sidestepping any hint of parody. As the Phoenix rising, the Tindersticks are resolute, with mythical prowess, to deliver songs reborn anew to live again - and linger as their old self.
Recommend for fans and newcomers, alike. Bonsoir, regret, à demain.
Tindersticks Interview - Stuart A. Staples (part 1), September 6, 2013: youtu.be/wZmmBb1kHXQSings Greatest Palace Music