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Archive for the ‘Louis De Bernières’ Category

prospectSOUNDTRACK: TINDERSTICKS-can our love… (2001).

loveAfter Simple Pleasure, Tindersticks continued in this looser, less chamber-pop vein.  This disc features more organ fueled songs.  And– in something of a departure–they made many of the songs quite long (two are over seven minutes, one is almost nine!).  You could almost say these are jams, but that would give the wrong impression.

The band still sounds like Tindersticks (there’s no mistaking that voice), but they feel looser, less intense.  Yet they’re still passionate.  In fact, “People Keep Coming Round” and “Can Our Love” are two of their best tracks.  “People” has this really long keyboard section that my wife said sounded like the Doors, and she’s quite right about that.  But it’s more than just a Doors-keyboard solo.  It’s a catchy yet haunting single.

It’s easy to be feel disappointed about the latter Tindertsicks discs because they don’t rival the crazed intensity of their earlier ones.  And yet, Tindersticks is now a different band, playing a different kind of music.  It’s still beautiful, still affecting, it’s just different.

“No Man of the World,” the second to last song is a slow, meandering, deceptively simple song.  It features spoken lyrics and gently sung backing vocals.  And on first listen it’s nothing special, but the more you listen, the more elements you notice: strings, horns, sadness.  It’s really quite moving.

The disc ends with “Chiletime” another deceptively simple song that begins with an organ drone and simple strings.  Staples whispers his way through the first few bars.  But then the track builds to a full band with gorgeous vocals.  Then it slows down as if coming to and end, but it builds once more, this time to a beautiful finish.  It’s a perfect ending to this disc.

[READ: November 3, 2009] “The Girt Pike”

De Bernières wrote Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (which I’ve neither read nor seen the film).  In fact, this is the first story by him that I’ve read, and I’m fascinated by his style.  I don’t know if his other works are like this but I’m rather intrigued by this one.

This is a fairly simply story of a boy going fishing.  (I don’t fish myself, and I don’t really care all that much about fishing, but I’ve gotten a great deal of pleasure out of fishing stories (Paul Quarrington’s Fishing with My Old Guy was a surprise treat)).

The story opens with an endearing style that I would consider almost fairy-tale-like.  (The second sentence does indeed open with “Once upon a time”).  But the words are not of fairy-tales, rather, they reflect a somewhat nostalgic past: when boys fished in ponds with sticks and then threw the sticks to their dogs who splashed in the ponds.  Such an idyllic set up is altered somewhat once the “action” starts with the sentence: “On the morning that concerns us, however….” (more…)

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