The Books

The Way Out

| July 29, 2010

Listening to The Way Out is like sifting through an audio scrapbook from an outdated media library. "Group Autogenics I" begins with a man saying, "Your body is now a glass container, you can smell the orange colored liquid. The deeper you go, the deeper you go." Other audio scraps include "A Cold Freezin' Night" in which a young kid is talking about blowing someone's brains out. Later, in another song, we get to Gandhi talking about the power of creation.

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The Books have released albums full of speeches and found sounds since the duo's inception in 1999. The collage of mystical and disturbing tidbits seem spliced together without chronology but with a sense of textural and visceral logic. It's all so hypnotizing and yet so tempting to skip over the collage for more aesthetically appealing songs. In other words, songs that feel like true songs and not just ironic reference. "We Bought the Flood," for instance, isn't overflowing with samples. It's a crawling dirge, sparsely populated with piano, light drums and a few guitar strums. "Free Translator" dabbles in lonely horns coated with the fuzz and crackle of an old record. They still feel pulled from the archives, but without so much gimmickry.

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