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Way Out (2010)

Artist: Books
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Way Out CD 1 of 1
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Learn more about Way Out:

Format: CD
Sku: 216291718
UPC: 656605318325
UPC 14: 00656605318325
Release Date: 7/20/2010
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Group Autogenics I ~ The Books
2. IDKT ~ The Books
3. I Didn'T Know That ~ The Books
4. Cold Freezin' Night, A ~ The Books
5. Beautiful People ~ The Books
6. I Am Who I Am ~ The Books
7. Chain of Missing Links ~ The Books
8. All You Need is a Wall ~ The Books
9. Thirty Incoming ~ The Books
10. Wonderful Phrase by Gandhi, A ~ The Books
11. We Bought the Flood ~ The Books
12. Story of Hip Hop, The ~ The Books
13. Free Translator ~ The Books
14. Group Autogenics Ii ~ The Books

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Audio Mixer: Nick Zammuto.
Muze PNote Recording information: The Hospital, London.
Muze PNote "Welcome to a new beginning" declares a voice at the start of The Way Out, and this album does indeed mark a fresh new chapter for the Books: a return to record-making five years after the fantastic Lost and Safe, on a new label, with a newly open-ended, wide-ranging approach to their work. It may not initially sound that way: opener "Group Autogenics I," one of several pieces that draw on guided meditation-style self-help recordings, feels almost like Books-by-numbers, with a gently humorous, disorienting oddness, juxtaposed with genuinely deeply relaxing sonics, that will be immediately familiar to fans of their past albums. After that, though, the duo stretches beyond its comfort zone in multiple directions at once, pushing at the boundaries of an already utterly singular style. The acoustic strings (primarily guitar and cello) that dominated their earlier output are still present, but they share space with a dizzying array of instrumental and quasi-instrumental sounds, from twinkling music boxes to a full-scale sample-generated orchestra of archaic brass and woodwinds. And while scavenged spoken word samples remain the most defining element of the Books' music, anchoring each of these cuts save for the four sung, lyric-based "proper songs" (including the gloriously geeky, math-worshiping chorale "Beautiful People," which announces, slightly disingenuously: "We genuflect before pure abstraction"), they're less concerned with constructing linguistic puzzles out of their samples here -- cleverly editing them to evince a sublimely witty illogic and absurdity --ÿthan with exploring their emotional nuances and often surreal humanity. Most tracks focus on a small number of voices, creating a sense of context and resonance without necessarily allowing for full comprehension. Hence, we get a tentative, intimate series of answering machine messages; a nonsensical bedtime tale about a Peter Rabbit-like character named Hip Hop; an inexplicably prickly grammarian vehemently insisting that "I Am Who I Am." "A Cold Freezin' Night" is a hilarious, slightly chilling tour de force built around a battle of (increasingly violent) words between a young brother and sister, set to a thumping disco beat. "I Didn't Know That" is even more striking musically -- the closest thing yet to a Books pop hit, and definitely the funkiest they've ever been, recalling Squarepusher's nimble bass playing and Akufen's micro-sampled funk barrages. The stated intention for The Way Out was for each track to be "its own rabbit hole," and the album does indeed manage to survey an impressively disparate set of worlds and modes. Still, each one remains readily recognizable as belonging to the Books' own unique, unequivocal universe, which, happily, seems to be expanding at least twice as rapidly as our own. ~ K. Ross Hoffman

Producer: The Books

Engineer: The Books; Drew Brown

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Dark Was The Night

Associated Artists and Works


Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 07/20/2010
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2010
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : 31832
Music Label Name Label : Temporary Residence
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00656605318325

Professional Reviews

Mojo (Publisher)
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] elevates The Books' avant-mash-up aesthetic to new heights."

Paste (magazine)
- "[T]he duo strikes an ideal balance between found-sound collage and original vocalizations....The Books have cobbled together a soundscape of not only the English language, but the entire universe."

Pitchfork (Website)
- "The Books have a terrific sense of humor -- and it makes THE WAY OUT, an album built on eccentric vocal samples, a good-natured discovery instead of a cheap piece of mockery."

Product Attributes

Product attributeArtist:   Books
Product attributeMusic Format:   Compact Disc
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