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Tindersticks – 'Across Six Leap Years' album review

Stuart Staples's anti-Britpop heroes revisit old songs to mark 20 years together

Tindersticks were responsible for some of the most gloriously lugubrious music of the ’90s. Think of them as the anti-Oasis: baleful, melancholy, wildly out of step with their mindlessly formulaic contemporaries and all the better for it. After last year’s well-received ‘The Something Rain’, this latest release (marking 20 years since they formed in Nottingham) is another kind of project entirely. They’ve selected ten songs spanning their history and re-recorded them – perhaps with the idea of improving on the originals, possibly just in an attempt to reconnect with their past.

It’s a peculiar enterprise. On the face of it, these re-imaginings just don’t add much to the originals, and accordingly it’s hard to see ‘Across Six Leap Years’ as being of much benefit to anyone but the band themselves. They remain superbly written and performed songs, of course: ‘Sleepy Song’ still bubbles with menace, ‘She’s Gone’ still aches exquisitely. Then again, so do the original versions. Although it’s great that Tindersticks are still going strong after two decades, let’s hope ‘Across Six Leap Years’ will free them up to look to the future for their next project.
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