Stuart A. Staples
The most striking thing about Tindersticks was always frontman Stuart A. Staples' beautiful and distinctive voice; a growl and hum pitched somewhere between Tom Waits' and Nick Cave's, but Staples' solo career is, like Morrissey's after The Smiths, exposing the importance of the other band members by removing them and measuring the difference. 'Leaving Songs', his second solo album, has it's moments, not least the stunning intimacy of Dance With An Old Man, virtually an a cappella with such little accompaniment, followed immediately by the first single, That Leaving Feeling, an invigorating push-pull duet with Lhasa de Sela. Otherwise, the nostalgic balladry is pretty inessential, encroaching deeply into countrified easy-listening territory, rendering 'Leaving Songs' an understated - and underwhelming - listen. [Ally Brown]
Leaving Songs' is out now.