on July 7, 2005
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.