For the most part, the ten tracks on Tindersticks’ career retrospective album Across Six Leap Years aren’t radically altered from their original versions. You have to know the back catalogue fairly well to be able to spot the tell-tale signs: the slightly more relaxed feel of many of the re-recordings; the changes in instrumentation - guitars have come more to the fore since the departure of Dickon Hinchcliffe; new backing vocals.
One song in particular, however, stands out as having been truly reborn into something that the band would have wanted to capture with the original recording. Originally released as a non-album single in 2008, What Are You Fighting For? has been made delicate and beautiful, where once it was sluggish and (dare I say it?) a bit awkward.
For comparison - try the original version…http://youtu.be/5dl8dA_-jqY
The version that closes Across Six Leap Years is a sign of a band that has fought against and then embraced new directions, and which after a period of uncertainty has truly found its feet again (last year’s The Something Rain was their best album in many a year); a band that is comfortable once more in its own, new skin. And that, I feel, seems like a reassuring, comforting way to end the year.