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Lost And Safe

Books Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 11.99
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Product Details


1. Be Good to Them Always
2. An Animated Description of Mr. Maps.
3. It Never Changes to Stop
4. If Not Now, Whenever
5. An Owl with Knees
6. Vogt Dig for Kloppervok
7. Smells Like Content
8. A Little Longing Goes Away
9. None But Shining Hours
10. Twelve Fold Chain
11. Venice

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surrealist Music? July 7 2005
Format:Audio CD
My first thought to describe this album was that it was like doing mushrooms with Andre Breton and Franz Kafka on the shore of a beach somewhere in the middle of no where. A little involved, yes, but this is the best way I can sum up all the elements involved in this artistic endeavour in one sentence. And this album is truly that, an artistic endeavour, a musical experience, the closest I have ever seen music resemble surrealist artwork. If you are the type of person who is always swimming further in the waters of music even though everyone else remains close to the shore, than the Books will definitely interest you. Similar to their first two albums, Lost and Safe is a mix of beautifully crafted organic music, full of violins, lightly picked guitars, and quiet electronic noise which is interrupted by carefully picked voices from old speeches, movies, albums, and others whose origin I cannot even imagine. These voices act like a series of characters jumping up from different places in time (quite philosophical really), and combined with occasional breaks filled with actual singing, they act like ambiguous fragments of a story that every listener puts together in a different way. This album is very different from their previous albums as it includes some very indie-rockish songs which are entirely vocals. All around an outstanding record, if you have heard the Books before, and liked them, you will love this record. If you have not and are still interested at this point in my review, I would recommend you give this particular album a listen first before moving on to their other material. Oh yeah...remember this is quite unlike a lot of other music being made today, so it might take a few listens.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expectation leads to disappointment. April 7 2005
By C. Flora-Tostado - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There are so many things I love about this new album. The Books continue to tone down their experimentation and simply nail the melodic and emotional side of their unique sound/voice/instrument structures. The Books seem more balanced and focused here than they have ever been before and this album shows a real awareness of space that points to their developing maturity.

I thought I would miss some of the complete randomness of their past efforts but after a few listens I realized how much more personal this album feels in comparison to Food and Lemon. The journey they take us on here is more coherent and stable. Moments of blissful introspection (A Little Longing Goes Away) are somehow balanced with banging sample tornadoes (Mr. Maps) and joyful imagery (Venice) and The Books hold your attention with intrigue instead of by simply surprising and amazing the listener.

I admit I was worried that The Books would not be able to top The Lemon of Pink because that album is such a masterpiece. Maybe in the eyes of critics they won't ever be able to, but to me this album just solidifies The Books as amazing artists (and poets) and I have simply realized that each of their albums is just as essential as the others.

(in an effort to boost their indie rep. Pitchfork has recently missed the boat on this album, the recent Prefuse73, and Beck albums as well. lets hope someday they'll be able to return to just simply enjoying the music they rate instead of being self-conscious about what ratings they give)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing album from the inventive group Nov. 25 2005
By somethingexcellent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I remember reading a review a couple years ago that said Thought For Food by The Books was simply an album that had received too much hype and it wouldn't hold up a year or two down the road. I'll be the first to admit that I thought it was simply the case of a single album coming together in a nearly perfect way, and when I heard that the group was releasing a second album, I wondered what they could do to surprise me. With The Lemon Of Pink, the group somehow captured lightning twice, and the album holds up for me just as well as their first.

Suddenly, we're onto the third album from the group and with Lost And Safe the group makes the most dramatic departures from their earlier sound, and once again they manage to do so in a way that feels logical. There are times where the release feels like a transitional effort, yet it also contains some of the best songs that they've ever done. To put my reaction in simple terms, there is no reason for me to doubt this group can keep coming up with unique sonics three albums into their career.

It's true that Lost And Safe may not be as immediately accessible as the first two releases from the group, but it's partially because the group chooses to really ease into things on the release. The opening track of "A Little Longing Goes Away" is as quiet of track as they've ever done, mixing soft pinging drones with subdued vocals by Nick Zammutto (who sings on almost every track on the release). "Be Good To Them Always" picks things up to a level that the group is known for as filtered violins see-saw back and forth while spoken-word samples mingle with sung vocals in a way that build beautifully over the course of almost five minutes. Likewise, "Vogt Dig For Kloppervok" takes off very slowly, with more filtered vocal and violin drones that give way to percussive clicks and clacks and samples before the track segues into a gorgeous section of filtered vocals and bowed strings.

From there out, there are a number of highlights. "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps" is easily the most percussive and loud track the group has ever done, and it is punctuated in just the right way with a building of instrumentation and samples (and vocals) while "Venice" mixes another great sample and some very simple plucked strings into a track that makes me smile every single time I hear it. "An Owl With Knees" is one of the more straightforward tracks on the entire disc, very nearly containing actual verses and choruses, yet at the same time the track is one of the more beautiful tracks that the group has ever done, with soft vocals from Zammutto that show some nice range.

The album not only contains a batch of outstanding tracks, but even on tracks where the group at first feels like they're going to get stuck (as on the simple banjo/string build of "It Never Changes To Stop"), they somehow manage to shift things about and turn the track into something wonderful (in the case of the aforementioned track, it's with a great use of samples). At eleven tracks and just over forty minutes, it's slightly longer than their other releases, yet it's full of those little moments that make The Books such a singular entity in music. Oddly enough, this unassuming duo has not only been one of the most consistent groups of the past couple years, but with their releases have managed to capture both the happiness and sadness of being a human being just about as well as anyone. One of my favorites of the year so far.

(from almost cool music reviews)
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitchfork is stupid... April 6 2005
By Robert G. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My favorite Books album. That being said, if you go into it with expectations of Lemon of Pink or Thought for Food, pt 2, you might be disappointed. This one's a little different: more cohesive, more song-oriented, but it's definitely still The Books!
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richly Realized July 22 2005
By WrtnWrd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sound collage has always best been served by hyper rhetoriticians (Negativland, The Residents) or inventive electronists (Four Tet, Spring Hill Jack). But The Books spoken word samples are just another color in their ever-evolving and richly realized contemplative sound, especially as evoked on Lost and Safe. The 11 songs on this collection are suggestive rather than literal. Like a good abstract painting, they reward patient deliberation with a near trance-like devotion. It's certainly possible to hate it -- there's a level of pretense to the very format of sound collage. But if you have the least bit of interest in experimental music, from Eno to any of the above-mentioned artists, The Books could be your new favorite band.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This album did not dissapoint May 16 2005
By R. Abraham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I enjoyed this more than I did Lemon of Pink, it felt lush and cinematic the way Thought for Food was, but more emphasis on found speech and juxtaposition. The percussion is just mindboggling here, I can't tell if they're banging on trash cans or paint cans or how much of it is sequenced and looped and sampled, it's all so calculated and choreographed yet otherworldly. My one reservation is that they may be turning the found speech into their schtick, they juxtapose random samples from speeches and field recordings and films and it's really hit or miss, sometimes the juxtapositions are blatantly ironic, sometimes they are just aimed at giggles, but when they work best they are surreal and beautiful. Really, no one else is doing this kind of work with sound composition right now. No one.
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