2019/01/24 – The Books – Smells Like Content

The Books are one of my favorite bands that I rarely listen to. All of their albums are packed with amazingly interesting experimental but still approachable songs. I randomly stumbled on them way back in 2003 while using the (surprisingly still active) p2p music/file sharing service Soulseek and ended up falling in love with their first two albums Thought for Food and The Lemon of Pink. 

While not all of their music is for everyone, all of their music goes starts with interesting ideas. For instance, the beat in this song was created by making small scratches in a specific pattern on the closed loop of an old record, which is then played through a piece of PVP pipe to give it that echoey feeling (I recently found this out listening to the very cool short-form podcast Song Exploder which I highly recommend checking out). Other really interesting songs I like by them are “Free Translator” where they wrote the lyrics to a song and translated them through every language in Google and back to English and sing them that way, or “Cold Freezing Night” where all the samples came from the old Talkboy tape recorders (made famous in Home Alone 2) they found at garage sales and swap meets with the old recordings still intact.

I’m really glad I got to see them touring in support of their last album A Way Out prior to their breakup in 2012. It was an incredible show and still one of my favorite live performance memories.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Last time I heard it: It’s been a while, probably since shortly after I first listened to that Song Exploder episode which was maybe 2-3 months ago.

What do you think?