- Thu, 2010-07-15 11:37
The Books are nothing if not experimental. However, while ‘experimental’ is often a synonym for obtuse, impenetrable, or even unpalatable, The Books manage to satisfy their creative curiosity while still crafting emotive and accessible indie-pop. Having slipped under the radar for the five years since their last album, Lost & Safe, July 20th 2010 sees their long-awaited return with new album The Way Out.
From that album comes the song Beautiful People. Beginning with harmonised a cappella vocals playing backwards in a stream of inscrutable syllables, a swell of reverent strings heralds the arrival of the song’s body. An off-kilter organ figure lurches towards the centre of proceedings before Nick and Paul commence their hushed catechism. With a melody borrowed from an old Danish hymn, reverence is paid to the principles of music itself, with the pair genuflecting before pure abstraction, and paying homage to 1.05946, the ratio of change that separates the twelve notes of the Western musical scale. A polyrhythmic breakdown and brass-infused coda further intensify the mysticism of the track, whose complex textures recall bands as far removed from each other as the Beatles and the Avalanches.