Lambchop – Mr. M
Tindersticks – The Something Rain
Two albums. Two different sounds. Mr. M, strings and bass-led. The Something Rain, synths, guitar and, occasionally, sax-driven. Two albums. Two personalities. Kurt Wagner. Languid, almost langorous. Stuart Staples. Deep, soulful, sometimes urgent. Two albums. Two masters. Both totally in control of their compositions. Both creating a full, rich, lush sound. Two albums that are not afraid to linger. Lambchop’s ‘Nice Without Mercy’ just dwells. That next note. Will it ever arrive? 10 minutes into the Tindersticks album and still no sign of Stuart Staples. When will he appear? Two albums that sound just beautiful. An orchestration. A soundtrack. And yet. And yet. There are problems. Life for Lambchop and Tindersticks might sound beautiful, but living can never be. Kurt Wagner has lost people. Vic Chesnutt is a presence throughout. And Stuart Staples is constantly searching. On ‘Frozen’, he repeats and repeats ‘If I could just hold you’. He means it. This is the tension that makes these two albums so great. If life was simple, easy, we’d just wallow in the wash of the sound and then move on. It isn’t. That’s why these albums last.