"The Waiting Room might be Tindersticks’ most subdued effort to date, but it still flashes the irreverence that enlivened efforts like The Something Rain and Falling Down a Mountain. On "Help Yourself," an uncharacteristically louche Staples shakes off his troubles by swaggering onto the floor of the Shrine in Lagos circa '72 (and the novelty of the Tindersticks going Afrobeat is savvily mirrored by Denis’ companion clip, which depicts French-Caribbean actor Alex Descas roaming the shopping-mall concourse of a French train station, nonplussed by the white European consumer culture surrounding him). An even more wondrous surprise arrives in the form of "Hey Lucinda," a wobbly-kneed waltz that finds Staples communing with the spirit of the late, great Montreal chanteuse Lhasa de Sela, an occasional Tindersticks collaborator who died of cancer in 2010. It’s like a fleeting reminiscence of someone who’s passed, but one that leaves you smiling from the warm memories rather than weeping over their absence.
The beautifully languid "Hey Lucinda" contrasts sharply with The Waiting Room’s other big-ticket matchup, "We Are Dreamers," which sees Staples joining forces with Jehnny Beth of Savages and the Tindersticks tapping into that band’s brooding menace. It’s the moment where all of The Waiting Room’s mounting tension is finally released, into an outsider anthem that recasts material impoverishment as spiritual empowerment ("You can rob us/ You can trick us/ Peer over our shoulders and steal our ideas") as Beth and Staples’ voices intertwine and overlap before locking into the song’s rallying cry: "This is not us/ We are dreamers!" - Pitchfork
"The Waiting Room has a multimedia component, which is that each of the 11 tracks comes accompanied by a short film helmed by a different director (Claire Denis, Christoph Girardet, among others). This is ambitious if not altogether surprising, since Tindersticks has been recording soundtrack work (mostly for Denis) in between albums as far back as 1996. Pretty much every Tindersticks song reaches out for late-night visual accompaniment. So the three instrumental cuts here, if somewhat uneventful and one too many, have the feel of incidental music from a film. “How He Entered,” which name-checks two of the instrumental titles, shares that cinematic momentum. A character study of sorts, it’s one of the group’s most compelling spoken-word pieces since 1995’s “My Sister.” - Paste Magazine