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The Way Out


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Audio CD, July 20, 2010
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Way Out + Thought for Food (Remastered) + The Lemon of Pink
Price for all three: $36.97

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Editorial Reviews

Over the course of three albums in nearly a decade's time, the Books have grown to become one of modern music's most genuine innovators. The Way Out continues the Books' tradition of meticulous, existential songcraft, infusing the playfully surreal elements of previous albums with a humorous, childlike excitement. Produced and recorded as always in the Books' home studios, The Way Out expands on the charm and intimacy of past endeavors with a deeper emotional resonance and an ever-impressive marriage of seemingly disparate sound worlds.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Group Autogenics I 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Idkt 1:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. I Didn,Äôt Know That 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. A Cold Freezin,Äô Night 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beautiful People 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Am Who I Am 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Chain of Missing Links 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. All You Need Is A Wall 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Thirty Incoming 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. A Wonderful Phrase By Gandhi0:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. We Bought The Flood 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Story of Hip Hop 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Free Translator 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Group Autogenics II 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Temporary Residence
  • ASIN: B003O6M3RA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,690 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Bell on July 20, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
"The Way Out" is another solid outing and incremental step forward for the fun, experimental duo The Books.

Built around found audio snippets of adults and children, "The Way Out" playfully dissects these anonymous guests' words, recontextualizing them to sometimes humorous, sometimes profound effect. And as always the music itself is interesting and provocative. These are skilled musicians, eschewing typical arrangements, signatures, and beats for explorations of texture and rhythm.

Highlights on the album for me include: "A Cold Freezin' Night" - a frenetic, bass-and-rhythm-driven soundtrack to the murderous threats of a group of children; "Beautiful People," a harmonious chant-like mathematical dream (I'm not sure I understand the subject matter, but what a trippy song!); and "All You Need is a Wall," which finds the group coming close to putting together a conventionally structured folk song (and they can sing!).

For those who know The Books, there's lots to love and enjoy about this album. It will feel familiar from the start in that its a natural, albeit slight, evolution (and then, only really in that sense that they use their own voices a bit more and push into some heretofore unexplored genres).

For those new to The Books, this album is as good a jumping off point as any. And although fans often say "The Books" and "experimental" in the same breath, don't be scared by the label. Yes, its different cup of tea, but its a lovely sip nonetheless.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Gentle on October 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD
When you first heard Kid A, you knew you were listening to something new. Something that nobody else seemed to be doing, but also something that didn't neatly pull or incorporate elements from music you had heard before. When you listen to anything by The Books, you receive a similar experience. Their compositions are not difficult to enjoy, but difficult to imagine conceiving. They stand rather unrivaled in density, complexity, and ability to navigate moods within a niche in which they have little company. On The Way Out, they continue their thoughtful fusion of sampling and original material, maintaining their presence as one of the most imaginative artists around.

Collages can be a rather noncohesive art form. In contrast, it seems as though sampling in music can more easily escape such dangers, as each piece is presented sequentially, allowing each component to be digested individually. In other words the observer isn't blindsided by all the fragments at once since they're introduced and layered one at a time. The dangers that persist are those of disconnection and balance. Can all these parts be assembled in a way that is more than just interesting? Can the listener leave a track feeling something? Although The Books rely heavily on sampling, a distinct voice still glues the pieces together. They are as equally attentive to detail as they are to emotion. There are lines that amuse, such as "I was born with a teacup on my head" on "We Bought the Flood." But there are also tracks that are therapeutic ("All You Need is a Wall") and moments of inspiration ("A Wonderful Phrase By Ghandi"). These moments of transition and sudden buoyancy are what make the album resound.

To someone not intimately familiar with sampling, the precision in production is almost comical.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alex on July 23, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The Books have certainly progressed in the interim between albums. These songs match their "found" sounds with instrumentation in new ways, but they still retain the same magic of their first two albums.

While this is a great album to add to your collection, I would disagree with the review that recommends this as a first album to get from The Books. For your first albums I would suggest "The Lemon of Pink" and then "Thought for Food". Both superlative. Head to their main site "the books music [dot] com" to hear full previews.

Also, don't forget The Books' collaboration with Prefuse 73 -- "Prefuse 73 Reads The Books" Talk about catching lightning in a bottle - it is a perfect alloy of their styles.

BTW, if you have a chance to see The Books live, it is an event not to be missed. They synch'd a videos with their songs and added new layers of rhythm to some of their best songs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KCB on January 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I can't write anything more eloquently than the 1st review by Samuel Gentle. :-) But I will say that this is the 1st CD by the Books that I've heard, courtesy a friend of mine. It's fantastically different than anything else I've heard. Easy 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Derek Young on September 13, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Beyond the odd movie and sound samples, The Books have created high quality electronic/collage music on their previous three albums. Their effective use of cello, guitar, and chopped up audio covered an aspect of their music that was subtle to the point that it was easy to overlook unless someone pointed it out -- their lack of drum programming. Nick Zammuto's history with chopping samples to create pseudo-percussion helped put the previous The Books albums in a unique niche.

By far the introduction of traditional drums is the biggest change in The Way Out, and sadly it shows that they don't have experience doing drum programming (they have admitted as such in interviews). Two tracks include a basic house beat (c'mon guys) and others include what sounds like General MIDI drums. One other aspect that's sorely missing is the great sense of space, or openness, prevalent on previous albums, replaced instead with what seems to pass muster as simple singer/songwriter tracks. Look, I understand that musicians like expanding their horizons and doing new things, but another aspect of good musicianship is recognizing when you're making a dud.

There are some decent tracks on the album, and overall the album is cohesive, but cohesively mediocre. Despite the long hiatus, I'm not very excited about this album. Oh well.
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