The Books The Way Out

The Books The Way Out
After a quick succession of albums on Tomlab in the first half of the '00s, Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong took a five-year break from recording to do family stuff and recharge. The Way Out shows no superficial changes in methodology: odd found speech samples and folksy acoustic instrumentation are still pulled together by drum-tight digital edits. However, below the surface there's an apparent thread of introspection in the various self-help and metaphysical texts the duo choose to speak for them. The live music elements, like the banjo and cello that played such a large part on earlier recordings, are less independent from the overall mix on most tracks. The layers of electronics are no denser, but the choices are much more considered and controlled. A few song vocals guide The Way Out into a less transient flow, including an oblique folk piece called "Free Translator" that sounds like Jeff Tweedy on free-association opiates. It's a case of the same Books with a few new chapters to advance the plot. (Temporary Residence)