All You Need Is A POLL: The Books albums

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Surprised this hasn't been done yet. Let us now poll the 2000s masters of psychedelic sample-based-crazy-quilt-twee

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Lemon of Pink (2003) 8
Lost and Safe (2005) 4
Thought For Food (2002) 2
The Way Out (2010) 2


feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Friday, 8 October 2021 14:33 (two weeks ago) link

Voted for the most boring answer but sigh it's my fav

Indexed, Friday, 8 October 2021 16:28 (two weeks ago) link

Lemon?

feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Friday, 8 October 2021 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

I’d have to relisten to em all but I suspect The Way Out is probably the best even if it’s not as significant as the first two

Can’t believe it’s been 11 years, wow. Bet you couldn’t find these types of recordings very easily today.

frogbs, Friday, 8 October 2021 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

funny to see the thread revived, i randomly put on The Way Out late last night for the first time in years and had a great time with it. i wasnt super sold on it when it came out, felt a little too cute, and with too many songs that felt like actual songs rather than the totally free-floating stream of consciousness collages that i wanted to hear. but it holds up better & better every time i go back to it.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 8 October 2021 17:32 (two weeks ago) link

same here didn't think much of it when it came out but I relisten to all 4 every year or so (at least, I used to) and generally come away thinking it's the best one

frogbs, Friday, 8 October 2021 17:35 (two weeks ago) link

zchyrs, yes

Indexed, Friday, 8 October 2021 17:38 (two weeks ago) link

y'all are definitely making me want to revisit The Way Out, I had a very similar reaction when it first appeared. Lemon of Pink is closest to my heart but will be fun if I can find time to relisten to all 4 this week

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Friday, 8 October 2021 18:12 (two weeks ago) link

xp no shame in that! I, the pollrunner haven't even picked yet, but I think it might be a coin toss between that one and Lost & Safe

feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Friday, 8 October 2021 22:30 (two weeks ago) link

Lost and Safe

J. Sam, Friday, 8 October 2021 23:25 (two weeks ago) link

High five! Re-listened Way Out yesterday too and was also surprised at how it sounded way better than how I remembered.

Answer is still Lost & Safe for me though. It’s probably my favorite album of the 00’s.

Did they ever explained why they disbanded? Are they in good terms?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 01:36 (two weeks ago) link

Btw if you haven’t watched this small documentary of Nick Zammuto, it’s a great insight into his process and lifestyle. He gets life imho:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raJa45rwJcw

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 01:41 (two weeks ago) link

Wish they had a reissue of Way Out it’s the only LP I don’t own physically and there’s only a couple of really expensive copies on discogs.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 01:48 (two weeks ago) link

i believe they are on extremely bad terms

call all destroyer, Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:00 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I think I read that somewhere, sad to hear :/ their solo stuff is great but it doesn’t reach the same heights of what they did together.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:04 (two weeks ago) link

This is the only article I could find right now but it doesn’t really explain what happened:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/pg8qnm/the-books-the-lemon-of-pink-reissue-vinyl-me-please

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:07 (two weeks ago) link

Closest clue come from Zammuto who kind of expresses some frustration at him wanting to tour and do new material to make more money and Paul not really responding to the rush of doing so.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:11 (two weeks ago) link

yeah sounds like paul kind of checked out while nick was under the impression they both were planning to devote a certain amount of time and effort to the group going forward.

still have a memory of hearing thought for food the first time and it just being so unique...like not really in conversation with any other music i was listening to at the time but still having a throughline of melody and structure that made it so easy and addictive to listen to.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:28 (two weeks ago) link

There was a small trend of “folktronica” going on at the time but noone else was doing stuff as inventive as them. They were looking at it from another angle. They were more into plunderphonics and collage than into just putting beats under acoustic instruments.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:39 (two weeks ago) link

I wouldn’t put their music as similar to Four Tet or Caribou per example.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:40 (two weeks ago) link

Not throwing shade at them, I actually love them too but for very different reasons.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:41 (two weeks ago) link

yeah agreed

call all destroyer, Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:41 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe and that’s a big maybe the closest comparisons could be The Avalanches or Arthur Russell… not for sound but in how they approach composition.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:49 (two weeks ago) link

I haven’t really made a deep dive into what their inspirations are - favorite albums, songs, artists… even movies - but that could shed some light on how they approach music.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 02:53 (two weeks ago) link

i like all of them but the way out is the one i love

ciderpress, Saturday, 9 October 2021 04:29 (two weeks ago) link

Currently revisiting their solo work and it’s cool to me how it’s so clear what each of them contributed to the sound of The Books. Paul seems quieter, more thoughtful and less concerned for textures, Zammuto’s solo work is more “childlike” or “crazy scientist” more concerned about having fun experimenting and obsessing about the way things sound. I might be wrong but Paul gives me the impression of being more of a musician and Zammuto more as a producer.

They do sound like they both learned from one another but their solo work makes more evident what their strenghts are and how they complimented each other.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 9 October 2021 07:05 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 21 October 2021 00:01 (six days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 22 October 2021 00:01 (five days ago) link

Totally forgot about these guys, will have to check the solo work. I wrote this as a Columbus OH show preview:
The Books
Thursday @ Wexner
The Books play (and sample) plucked, strummed and bowed instruments, while talking and singing with countless other sounds, also sampled (and played). Waves of fragments move calmly, and, on their first album,
The Lemon of Pink, venerable voices provide “helpful” gibberish. The Books like to ricochet through such decay, although the subsequent Lost & Save risks spelling this out a little too plainly, before zigzagging through unexpected insights and comedy. Their new version of Nick Drake’s “Cello Song” even grooves with the glitches of a cheapo CD-R! Which is where I put what the publicist sent me. A lonng time ago.

dow, Friday, 22 October 2021 03:16 (five days ago) link

sheesh after all those posts I wasn't expecting The Way Out to place last. I was one of the votes sooooo

frogbs, Friday, 22 October 2021 03:22 (five days ago) link

Sorry I can’t betray my inconditional love for lost and safe

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 22 October 2021 03:56 (five days ago) link

Yup I didn't make it to Thought for Food in my relisten but ultimately ended up going with Lost and Safe. The Way Out is a little too busy and propulsive; Lemon of Pink felt a shade too subdued and calm coming after the last two in my reverse-chronological relisten, as much as I love it. Lost and Safe has the perfect balance.

Look at it this way: you may fall and break your leg

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Friday, 22 October 2021 14:40 (five days ago) link


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