A new label and a renewed sense of collaboration between the members of one of England's finest has resulted in Can Our Love, the loosest record yet in Tindersticks
' decade-long existence. Here, they've lost all remaining self-consciousness. The listener is all the better for it. This lack of self-consciousness is the good kind -- the kind derived from locking into place and letting things come naturally, chucking any degree of preconception out of the window. Between the spare instrumentation, crepuscular tempos, and somber coursing of Stuart Staples
' voice throughout "Can Our Love" and "No Man in the World," one wouldn't have to be too inebriated to mistake parts of the album for Sam Cooke
's Night Beat
played at the wrong speed. On "People Keep Comin' Around," perhaps their best moment yet, it sounds as if they heard the Doors
' "Riders on the Storm" and decided to speed up the tempo a notch and strip away the false dramatics, fashioning it into a seven-minute pearl custom fit for '70s soul radio. "Chilitetime" may not be a medley containing parts of "Have You Seen Her?" or "Are You My Woman?," but it's another extended slow dazzle warbler that doesn't outstay its welcome. And if "Dying Slowly" and "Don't Ever Get Tired" ring of garden variety quality, you're taking them for granted. There's no use in going into further detail -- all the proper ingredients are in full effect.