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Boomkat Product Review:
The Wire's album of the year 2005 - reissued for 2016!!!
From their self-issued CDRs through to this their third full album, The Books have always retained a distinctive sound that has been resolutely difficult to pin down. Easing off the cello that was so conspicuous on 'The Lemon of Pink', The Books have also chosen to forsake the beatific vocals of collaborator Anne Doerner and concentrate fully on those of Nick Zammuto. Collaging decontextualised auditory snippets and blending them into a miasma of warm instrumentation, 'Lost Safe' is on familiar territory with the opening 'A Little Longing Goes Away'. Cherry picking elements of Elliot Smith, Telefon Tel Aviv, Sigur Ros, The Notwist and Fenomenom, 'A Little Longing Goes Away' manages to sound entirely its own with the opening salvo of "yes & no are just distinguished by distinction, so we chose in between..." galvanising this.
Undoubtedly the most proficient and pleasing example of The Books jumble-sale approach to sampling thus far is next up with 'Be Good to them Always', where syncopated Stockhausen click guitars clear the way for Steve Reich minimalism. With Zammuto dueting alongside the dead-pan government and news-cast samples ("this great society is going smash...") The Books conspire to make him sound robotic and inhuman, whilst the recordings are rendered full of emotion in contrast. As intense as a deserted library...wonderful listening.