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Thought For Food
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Okay, silly exercise of triangulating between reference points nearly as obscure.
The Books is somewhere between the raw acoustic two-guys strings and percussion of... Read more
I dont really know what to write for this review. The music is weird and kind of like stuff I have heard, but somehow it works in a most unusual way. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Willoughby
I would like to reassert my previous criticisms. After months of repeated listens and fair-minded scrutiny this CD is nevertheless mediocre and trite. Read morePublished on June 11 2003 by Wm. Mars
An excellent piece. each song sounds different, so if you only listen to it once, which you should at least do, listen to all the songs all the way through.Published on May 26 2003 by C. Hopf
Just to spite the fellow below, who actually still believes that the term "pseudo-intellectual" is even remotely insulting, when in fact it is a term of speech employed solely by... Read morePublished on May 12 2003
the endless spirals of complexity on this album are remiscent of works by boards of canada or up in flames by manitoba. Read morePublished on May 7 2003 by Floating Skull in the Hallway
This modern composition is not quite jazz, or minimalism, or folk, or anything... The Books try to hover somewhere in-between all of these things. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2003 by Wm. Mars