Tindersticks
The Something Rain


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
July 19th, 2012 | 19 replies | 4,441 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: saxophones, but not like in "Careless Whisper," and missed opportunities

There’s no real point describing “Chocolate” to you when it’s laid so bare itself, but anyway: it feels more like listening to an audio-book drowned out by the sound of your folks listening to lounge music in the next room, or having a good novel ruined by the distracting jazzy shit playing on your headphones. As a narrative piece, it tries to engage on the most direct of levels, taking its storytelling as seriously as purists take drone music; this story, told in plain spoken-word, seems to run and run, and its backing track is so caught in the rhythms of the treacly story- a simple night out, but there’s a twist- that it seems impossible to shake it. It's not for want of trying. “Chocolate” and its story eventually hit a point of no return and the twilight keyboard accompaniment, played as low-key as you like, turns into a musical fit. Note, however, that this isn’t a bridge, and nor is the sax playing a George Michael sax solo, which this slow romantic album could certainly earn; Tindersticks instead play the music like its story, and in the context of it, the song appears to explode in a moment where there’s nothing to say.

“Chocolate” bares little lyrical resemblance to the rest of its album, and instead of delve into an entire album’s worth of maudlin prose and monologues on awful but romantic nights out in Nottingham, The Something Rain retreats to Staples’ brooding love songs and his penchant for minimising feelings and putting them in a box. “Show Me Everything” is an entirely different performance from “Chocolate,” in this sense- it carries a couple hundred less words, and stacks them line by line- but sounds fitting to follow it because it carries itself in the same way, rotating for Staples like a circle but allowing him to bend and break whenever he so wishes. It’s structurally just as direct and even if it ends with a very different kind of climax, it’s one that remains tied to the ongoing musical motifs. I guess, in a way, that warrants my drone joke: this music isn’t interested in straying from its markers. Also, Staples drones and drones, but anyway: The Something Rain finds its style in the absence of resonating moments. “Chocolate” specifically decides to waste an opportunity when it's faced with one, using sax to disorientate rather than to reciprocate the sex of the song, and the rest of these songs are just never presented with an opportunity.

Things only get bolder as Staples gets sadder and more desperate. So much does “This Fire of Autumn” play to its sad clown act, in fact- more than oh, say, Stephin Merritt- that it becomes a track made by desperation piling on top of itself and facing a fall. This tight structure and this mawkish minor-key lend The Something Rain one of music’s most attractive clichés, offering an album so intent on its songs and its album being as one. I can’t stop thinking about that Beach House interview on Pitchfork, in which Alex Scally noted that their albums all sound the same because they focus on songs as singular moments. What a paradox that is, but The Something Rain proves it all over again, and it’s a hard thing to describe; none of these songs are entitled to be the album’s best and none of them work towards anything other than creating the quiet, gloomy album that it is. And yet there’s so much of this focus given to each song. Tindersticks refuse to deviate from these keyboard notes and guitar riffs for minutes on end, or as much time as is necessary for the song to swivel around us and sink into our heads. Someone said something about happiness being a sad song. For Staples and Boulter a sad song runs and runs.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012



7328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review as always Robin.

I've only given this two or three listens but so far I've liked it more with each spin. 'Chocolate' is so good.

chambered49
July 19th 2012



1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is beyond strange

Gyromania
July 19th 2012



15508 Comments


Oh sweet, this has a review. Honestly had no idea you liked this album. Nothing really grabs me as much as "Chocolate" from this, but it's good stuff.

chambered49
July 19th 2012



1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and i like it

Xenophanes
Emeritus
July 19th 2012



10593 Comments


There’s no real point describing “Chocolate” to you when it’s laid so bare itself, but anyway: it feels more like listening to an audio-book drowned out by the sound of your folks listening to lounge music in the next room, or having a good novel ruined by the distracting jazzy shit playing on your headphones.


This sounds like it could be the worst thing ever or the best thing ever.

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2012



10331 Comments


good stuff my man, missed an "It's" (not Its) in the first paragraph

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Spare
July 19th 2012



5271 Comments


tindersticks yeeeeee

robin
Emeritus
July 20th 2012



4248 Comments


I've only given this two or three listens but so far I've liked it more with each spin. 'Chocolate' is so good.


yeah it gets better with every listen imo. such a gem of a record.

missed an "It's" (not Its) in the first paragraph


c'mere you

Fugue
July 20th 2012



7352 Comments


Album's great, thank you for this review it needed one.

scissorlocked
July 20th 2012



3509 Comments


chocolate is nice

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



7177 Comments


K so I was wondering if I should get this - thanks for helping me figure that out Mr Smith ;)

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

jefflebowski
July 20th 2012



8171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so do you like chocolate or not?

good review, good album

Digging: Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



10331 Comments


yeah this kind of made me want some chocolate

joshuatree
Emeritus
July 21st 2012



3743 Comments


tindersticks are awesome, i didn't know they still made music

likewise, robin smith is also awesome

Spare
July 21st 2012



5271 Comments


tindersticks are awesome, i didn't know they still made music
i didn't either, rad surprise

robin
Emeritus
July 22nd 2012



4248 Comments


really am quite new to tindersticks but it's been fab getting into them. just my kind of thing i think

jefflebowski
July 22nd 2012



8171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the first three albums are basically flawless

porch
July 23rd 2012



8453 Comments


i think they've had some major line-up changes since then

jefflebowski
July 24th 2012



8171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

half the band left after waiting for the moon i think



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