It’s quite impressive, really: Despite various cast changes and distractions like soundtracks and art projects, Tindersticks have managed to continuously refine their chamber-pop with every record they release. For more than 20 years, their sound has developed organically, even though it has always radiated with elegance and competence in style. For »The Waiting Room«, they have once again interwoven bits and pieces of folk, chanson, soul and film music in the most delicate manner and with a reliable instinct for nuances. In doing so, their ubiquitous melancholy never turns into bitterness or self-pity, the sorrow set to music never appears artificial. The string-arrangements, which seem almost orchestral in some tracks, this time contributed by Julian Siegel, confidently walk the thin red line between sublime opulence and sheer bombast, so that they always serve the song rather than sticking out as impurity. From the cover version »Follow Me« by Bronislau Kaper (for »mutiny on the Bounty«) all the way to the wonderfully tender duets with Lhasa de Sela (»Hey Lucinda«), who passed away in 2010, and Jehnny Beth of Savages (»We Are Dreamers«), Stuart A. Staples and his colleagues give us an idea of how tactful sorrow can sound. All in all, they manage to sound like Nick Cave minus the biblical fatalism and his heavy pathos.