Curtains finds Tindersticks exploring the same dark, string-drenched territory as their first two albums, and while it shares a surface similarity with its predecessors, there are subtle differences that make it a rewarding listen. The tone of Curtains is slightly brighter than that of the second album, with the songs unfolding into lush, affecting laments that recall Scott Walker at his finest. Though the sound is seductive, what is most impressive about Curtains is the songwriting. The Tindersticks have become more assured writers, letting the songs gradually develop into intimate epics. Stuart Staples' lyrics are similarly textured and subtle, with alternating layers of pathos and humor. Curtains, in many ways, functions as the culmination of what the Tindersticks set out to accomplish with their first two albums, and the results are appropriately stunning.