The first three Tindersticks albums comprised 21, 16 and 15 tracks respectively; the next two were made up of just nine songs and eight songs. What can we conclude from this? Well, for a start, certainly not that their creative juices have run dry. Or indeed any other juices, for that matter.

No, we might decide, however, that the fiddly instrumental interludes are in their past, and that’s all to the good, because while they made sense in the context of the tracks among which they were dispersed, they would break up the low, slow n slinky rhythm of the Can Our Love…-era Tindersticks. The closest they get here is Tricklin which bimbles along with a unique lack of emotional resonance. That aside, and the barely three minutes of ‘Don’t Ever Get Tired’, it’s long-drawn out pleasure they’re after here. This is tantric Tindersticks: no-one’s going anywhere any time soon, so settle in and enjoy the ride.

Enjoy more of the soulful side of Tindersticks that came to prominence on Simple Pleasure: both People Keep Comin Around’ and Can Our Love… continue where that album left off, the title track managing to pull off the trick with Dickon Hinchcliffe providing backing vocals, in the process turning the song into a curiously sweet intra-band duet.

Enjoy, in particular, Sweet Release, with its superb nine minutes swinging and swaying on a rise and fall of strings and horns, a simple bass, and plaintive lyric: ‘you see these hands? they don’t know how to, how to give me that sweet release’. True happiness does not yet this way come for Staples, but perhaps it isn’t so far off any more.

Enjoy, too, No Man in the World and Chilitetime, the former a spoken-word tale of fire and betrayal, the latter a three-way battle between David Boulter’s harshly reverbing guitar lines, Dickon Hinchcliffe’s electric violin doing its best not to harmonise with anything (including itself), and Stuart Staples trying his damnedest to get a message of hope out:

You say you got love

Got a love to set you free

I can feel it, darling

It runs all over me

I got a smile that says I’m feeling good

You know I’m feeling good

You know I’m feeling good

Above all, enjoy the album’s cover image of a bearded Stuart Staples nuzzling up to a donkey, and enjoy the kicker at the end here: as useless as I tend to be when it comes to finding the zingy phrase to close on, I feel like this time is different. This time I have it. I guess what I’m trying to say is can this review…