Fans of The Books have been waiting for many anxious years to hear new sounds from these avant-garde, found sound maestros. Earlier this year when a new album was finally announced, expectations were high and anticipation a buzz. Last month they delivered, and I for one am of the opinion that The Way Out was well worth the wait. The Books have expertly orchestrated a cohesive aural journey of an album. From the opening track, Group Autogenics I, to the closing track, Group Autogenics II, your ears are led through strange and wonderful soundscapes that probe your psyche to introspective reflection. This is unlike any previous album from The Books. It is more dynamic and more complete, featuring a broader range of tones and moods while generally maintaining pace and direction. The Way Out has an unprecedented level of purposefulness, a clear intent to be more than a collection of songs, perhaps even aspiring to be as much as an illuminating path for listeners.
Maybe this is a cop out, but I cannot bear to piece this album apart by reviewing individual tracks or mentioning specific samples that sparked my brain. Do you like unusual music? Do you appreciate noises? Do you feel that all the sounds of the earth are like music? Do you believe that music can be an experience? Then chances are you will appreciate The Way Out. If I were to expound any further on its various details, it could detract from your personal interaction with album. The only advice I can give is to listen to it as a whole. Do not under any circumstances simply listen to a few random tracks you find on the interwebs. Get the entire album and listen to it in order in one session free of distraction. A dark, quite, warm, empty room might be the ideal listening location. Close your eyes, clear your ears, open your brain, press play, and start traveling.