Rolling Stone (8/21/97, pp.108-110) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...a stunning blend of smooth beauty and crafted campiness....a carefully balanced album, tailor-made for the space that exists between the dizzying rush of romanticism and the comic letdown of reality."
Entertainment Weekly (7/18/97, p.85) - "...CURTAINS may not expand on the band's narrow vision...but [Tindersticks] continue to refine its hazy, late-night sound." - Rating: B+
Q (1/98, p.115) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Melody Maker (12/20-27/97, pp.66-67) - Ranked #34 on Melody Maker's list of 1997's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker (6/7/97, p.48) - "...vocalist Stuart Staples...mumbles eloquently through a world where it's always 2 am. Nothing happens, but beautifully."
NME (Magazine) (12/20-27/97, pp.78-79) - Ranked #43 in NME's 1997 Critics' Poll.
NME (Magazine) (7/7/97, p.56) - 8 (out of 10) - "...The third Tindersticks album...is still more Finsbury Park B&B than Hotel California. Songs unwind very, very slowly with a kind of wracked, bruised grace, all creaking organs and woozy strings..."
Tindersticks includes: Stuart Staples (vocals).
Additional personnel: Isabella Rossellini, Ann Magnuson (vocals); Jesus Alemany (trumpet); Joe De Jesus (trombone, flute); Lucy Shaw (bass); David Patman (bongos).
Engineers: Tindersticks, Ian Caple, Craig Chettle, John Siket.
Recorded at Angel Studios and Eastcote Studios, London, England; Sear Sound, New York, New York.
By the time of their third album, Tindersticks had moved far from their rock band origins, toward a more decadent, loungy aesthetic--more Scott Walker than Nick Cave. The strings and horns present since the group's debut take a much more prominent role, dominating the arrangements. The increased reliance on orchestra, the turn toward an even moodier style, and the increasingly film noir-like vignettes of the lyrics give CURTAINS an extremely cinematic quality (which the group would eventually take further by scoring the film NENETTE ET BONI. While Stuart Staple's deep, lugubrious singing is still far from stentorian, the lyrics are decipherable enough to provide a sense of the wasted-lives/rented-rooms scenarios that define the album's worldview.