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Album Review

Books, The “Lost and Safe” [Tomlab]

Hunter Gatherer   5/22/2005   A Library, CD

The Books, a New York-based duo, are Paul DeJong and Nick Zammuto. Lost And Safe is their third full-length release.

Put it on and you will hear acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, cello, ?) sometimes highly processed and looped, sometimes not. But the most striking thing about this release is that about half the lyrics are from found recordings. Sometimes the spoken texts are obviously from different sources but they are put together to make a conversation which creates a rather unsettling effect. Other times it is oddly moving. The other lyrics are sung, spoken, or multi-tracked by Mr. Zammuto.

The overall feeling of this release is one of calm in the center of a storm, loneliness in a crowd, and safety in the midst of chaos. It’s perfect music for people watching in a crowded city. Xlr8r magazine called it 23rd centry bluegrass in their review, which is about right.

The songs on this promotional CD are in different order than the one that was released.
–Hunter Gatherer

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