November 17, 2010

The Books – The Lemon of Pink
electronic, folk, field recordings, sound collage

When you boil it down to its core ingredients, The Lemon of Pink is essentially a folk record, but the songs here have been chopped, spliced, sampled and rearranged into a sonic collage of delicate vocals, found sounds and a wide variety of gentle instrumentation including guitars, violins, banjos, percussion and more. In a feat not to be overlooked, the duo have managed to create one of the most warm, inviting and human albums I’ve ever heard, amazingly without more than a small handful of actual lyrics, so most of this feeling is carried strictly by the music itself, as well as the snippets of random sampled chatter (including conversations, educational clips, announcements and more) that are littered generously throughout. The whole album is characterised by an inclusive and celebratory tone, which is shown to full effect on some of the highlight tracks, such as the quirky “Tokyo”, the Einstein-quoting “There is no There” and the gorgeous “Take Time”, a track which has endured as a personal favourite throughout the decade, having lost none of its impact over years of repeat listens. To put it simply, The Lemon of Pink is an abstract work of art with a single purpose – to The Books - The Lemon of Pinkwash away your concerns and make you feel content, happy and completely at ease. I’m constantly impressed by the fact that The Books have managed to make an album so satisfying on two extremely different levels – while the album is meticulously assembled, making The Lemon of Pink a real joy to deconstruct and examine for its finer details, against significant odds it’s also one of the most powerfully emotive and affecting albums I’ve ever heard.