Stuart Staples and his suit wearing troubadours have been delivering heart wrenching ballads to a loyal faithful of melancholy miseralites (sic) for the best part of two decades now, and have enough tunes in the bank to probably call it quits. With the release of this magnificent eclectic bunch of songs, it seems the boys from Nottingham have a few years left in them yet.
Falling Down A Mountain, the title of the both the first track and the album, opens up like an ode to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue with its eerie scattered jazz beats and rolls of thunder, setting the tone up nicely. In usual Tindersticks fashion, Staples keeps the mood sombre and melancholy, his waving vocals overpowering the array of magnificent arrangements that roll on track after track.
The whimpering ballad of ‘Factory Girls’ has a kind of cocktail bar, 4am Tom Waits sneer to it, with all the originality than only Staples could deliver so poignantly:’ It’s the wine that makes me sad, not the things I never had.’
Its not all doom and gloom on this record however, ‘She Rode Me’, could easily make its way onto the soundtrack of a Sergio Leone western, its rhythmic pulse tapping to the meter of Staples subtle vocals. Mary Margaret O’Hara makes a rare appearance on the strangely titled duet ‘Peanuts’, while ‘Harmony Round My Table’ is definitely a contender for the feel good anthem of 2010. David Kitt must be counting his lucky charms he talked his way into this band.