The Books The Lemon of Pink

A unique bricolage of found sound, vocal sampling, a slew of traditional instruments (ranging from banjo to cello) and electronic splicing, the Books’ sophomore effort picks up where last year’s brilliant Thought for Food left off and then gradually surmounts it in every conceivable way. Their proclivity for twisting pop confines is thankfully still intact, but The Lemon of Pink finds the group with a beneficial focus that filters out the few meandering aspects of their debut. What’s left can only be described as a refined erraticism — something perhaps due, in part to the album being composed quickly in a single locale (North Adams, Massachusetts) as opposed to Thought’s construction over several years in a variety of locations. Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong weave together an endless array of ideas throughout the album’s 13 tracks, splicing its many pieces with impeccable timing and an irregular rhythm that extirpates the need for a traditional drummer or over-used click ’n’ cut programming. The sheer amount of materials thrown into the mix should render this album a cold, incongruous mess, but their incredible talent as songwriters, musicians and laptop producers solidifies the massive amount of emotion they are able to squeeze out of the abstract and desultory source materials. (Tomlab)