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Thought For Food


Price: CDN$ 34.95
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Vanderbilt CA.
3 new from CDN$ 34.95 2 used from CDN$ 29.94


Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 26 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tomlab
  • ASIN: B00006RAKZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #257,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Filled with endearing and enduring songs, the Books revisit their wide-eyed beginnings with this remastered Thought For Food, repackaged with all-new artwork and expanded to include lyrics for every song for the first time ever. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, TFF now boasts a warmth and clarity that surprisingly reveals an increased harmonic depth. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
Rare. Innovative. Mind-expanding? Smart. Exciting. Meditative. If I had to choose a bunch of All Music Guide adjectives to sum up this album, those would be them. The Books' Thought For Food is a hard album to pin down as it's electronic, and yet feels more like folk than IDM. Maybe this is what Momus was talking about? Probably not, since he was talking about folk musicians starting out with synths and making their music with those instruments as a starting point. The Books are more complicated than a simple metaphor or equation can explain.
So I'll start by saying that The Books are two men: Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong. According to a dead-on review of the record by Mark Richardson, there are four main instruments on the album: Guitar, violin, samples, and silence. Sometimes a guitar and cello will make up a bed for the samples, sometimes vice-versa. Each song is its own unique world. But throughout the whole of it, what really makes the album stunning, is the samples. Each is allowed to breath. Nothing on the album feels muddled. If Negativland is the beer, The Books are the wine. This is sampladelic music refined.
On the first track, perhaps my favorite song of the year, "Enjoy Your Worries, You May Never Have Them Again," there is a constantly shifting beat, as samples each struggle to get to the front. There is a contemplative and dramatic guitar line that makes its way throughout, but the clicks, glicks and beats will start and stop at a moments notice while samples of tennis matches, army generals, and a woman I recognized as "Hazel" from the NPR show Lost and Found Sound each jostle for attention but are cut off before they can say anything. It's just an impossibly profound song that doesn't come out and directly say anything.
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Format: Audio CD
A creaky old train slipped on the rails, spilled it's junked record collection, and various documentarian relics, and someone decided to provide folk guitar accompaniment.
A stretch of samplings and wrinklings, saturations and drips, The Books' Thought for Food is a loverly album dears.
Try to think of it as something ancient, meaning the near past, coupled with the presence of mind to not discount it, but to change it, to twist and frist it into a miscellany of true spirit. A brew for drinking!
Like on the song "All Our Base Belong to Them" starts "I was born on the day that music died" by a slow and low voice, there is no joy in this present that we have created, no tangible excitement, but we still make music.
We are used to the cliché of post-modernity, the neon Statue of Liberty clothed in pudding, wearing sunglasses.
Here, just because we are bringing seemingly disparate things together (sampling and guitar, quotes and a hip 1870's beat) but here, we believe in it, we accept it. We don't want to analyze it, or figure out the "symbolism" or the "gender issues," we just want to listen.
So listen, listen! Even if you have a heart condition.
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Format: Audio CD
Innovative. That's a word I haven't heard very often referring to new releases this year. I always love albums that are difficult to explain to someone that's never heard it, especially if that person listens to as much stuff as you do, giving you a wide selection for points of reference to choose from, yet still coming up short in your attempt at an accurate description. Collectively known as the Books, the duo of Paul de Jong (from New York) and Nick Zammuto (from North Carolina) have produced an album that contains some pretty off-the-wall sound samples, disturbing dialogue, and even some old-fashioned singing (huh?). All this takes place over the top of some type of music, usually very simplistic in nature, such as an acoustic guitar and a violin. While odd voice samples are nothing new, you've never heard them employed in such a way as found here. This doesn't come off completely flawless, however. Thought For Food feels a little rough around the edges. On some tracks, everything comes together beautifully. In other tracks, they slightly miss their mark. When you've got something that sounds as fresh as this, why nitpick?
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Format: Audio CD
Every once in a while a record like this one appears out of the ether without clear reference points. Web details on The Books are sketchy, but I have ascertained that they're a duo consisting of guitarist Nick Zammuto, who lives in North Carolina and has released some solo material under his surname, and cellist Paul de Jong, who lives in New York and has composed for dance, theater and film. After that, the pool of Books information dries up fast. The music is similarly unknowable, in the sense that it's difficult to classify. Musicians famously hate to be 'put into a box'; well, if more bands sounded quite as original as The Books, the practice would likely cease. If this record is the product of any sort of 'scene,' it's not one I've heard of. Thought for Food is going to sit comfortably in my collection in its own little category, a small world unto itself.
Despite Thought for Food's unique sound, the record, on one level, is not hard to pin down. The musical elements are so simple and commonplace that describing them is not a problem. What's difficult is conveying how these few everyday pieces are placed together so artfully to create something this striking and unique. I'll give that a shot later, but first-- what sort of music are we talking about here? Essentially, three different things go into nearly every Books song: there is always a guitar, usually acoustic; there is usually a stringed instrument, either cello or violin or both; and there are always sampled vocal fragments. That's basically it. Two tracks have a few bars of soft singing, while another, "Mikey Bass," has some bass work by a guy named Mikey. Sporadic percussion and a few other instruments are scattered here and there, but the guitar/strings/samples troika is the meat of The Books.
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