The Books

Lost and Safe

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On their third full-length release, Lost and Safe, the Books show that they are back stronger than ever and from the beginning are subtly pushing new forms. Still present in the Books' song structures are string work and found sounds, but the inclusion of vocals from the bandmembers themselves gives Lost and Safe a depth that was only hinted at on Thought for Food and Lemon of Pink. The use of more vocals is never overbearing and works well with the other elements of speech, at times completing sentences or thoughts of particular samples -- the lyrics are printed with the sample text included as well. Rhythms and textures of strings and other various instruments seem to complement the found sounds and samples to a wonderfully haunting effect, as on "It Never Changes to Stop," "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps," and "Venice." The Books manipulate sound elements that are found or created by their string playing, which can be jarring at times, as on "Be Good to Them Always." Lost and Safe is subtle and dramatic throughout, as the Books use all of their musical resources to create an album that sounds like the members of a modern Gastr del Sol might have discovered computers and sounds deep in the woods or in the cracks of high-tech buildings, and incorporated these elements in their music-making. From the songwriting to the production to the performance, the whole package that the Books present with Lost and Safe works wonderfully and makes for a very rewarding listen.

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