For their fifth studio album (and first for Beggars Banquet), the U.K.'s Tindersticks seem and sound quite at ease—that is, as much as one might expect from this somber sextet.

For their fifth studio album (and first for Beggars Banquet), the U.K.'s Tindersticks seem and sound quite at ease—that is, as much as one might expect from this somber sextet. Beautifully produced by the band and Ian Caple, Can Our Love . . . disseminates symphonic touches sparingly over its signature pale melodies. Fans of the act's earlier albums, such as 1997's Curtains, may be surprised to find only eight tracks here, but three of the cuts clock in at seven minutes or more. The songs here require time to establish connections with the listener. "People Keep Comin' Around" moves steadily to a "Riders on the Storm"-inflected groove laced with sporadic horns and eerily dissonant chimes. "Chilitetime" is like vintage Velvet Underground, while a '70s soul vibe permeates "Sweet Release." And vocalist Stuart Staples' trembling baritone maintains its ghostly presence, wavering equally with the guitars on the title track. Sleepy and soulful, Can Our Love . . . is delightfully powerful in an understated way.—SB

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