Lost and Safe

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Lost and Safe
Studio album by The Books
Released 5 April 2005
Genre Electronic, folk
Length 42:04
Label Tomlab
The Books chronology
The Lemon of Pink
Lost and Safe
Music for a French Elevator

Lost and Safe is the third album by American musical duo The Books. It is stylistically similar to their previous albums, continuing their rich use of samples as diverse as Raymond Baxter ("That's the picture. You s-you see it for yourself."), W. H. Auden ("This great society is going smash / A culture is no better than its woods", from his poem "Bucolics: II, Woods"), and a reading of Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky". On "If Not Now, Whenever" Mal Sharpe asks a passerby "How're you doin' today?" Some of the sampled passages are either accompanied or performed elsewhere by guitarist/bassist Nick Zammuto in Sprechstimme. Some of the eclecticism of the samples is owed to their origins in Salvation Army shops.[1]


The Books use samples extensively in this work, as in most of their works. "It Never Changes to Stop" features the sound of admonitions and commands as delivered by an anonymous American disciplinarian.[2] "Venice" samples the bonus track of a 1966 opera record, in which an American reporter describes a Salvador Dalí "happening" in Venice.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[6]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3.5/5[7]
URB 4.5/5 stars[8]
The Village Voice A−[9]

Lost and Safe has received very positive reviews from numerous critics and music publications. Lost and Safe currently holds a rating of 84 out of a possible 100, indicating "universal acclaim", on Metacritic.com.[4] David Serra of AllMusic wrote: "From the songwriting to the production to the performance, the whole package that the Books present with Lost and Safe works wonderfully and makes for a very rewarding listen."[5] The Wire voted Lost and Safe as the best album of the year in 2005.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "A Little Longing Goes Away" – 3:30
  2. "Be Good to Them Always" – 4:51
  3. "Vogt Dig for Kloppervok" – 3:54
  4. "Smells Like Content" – 3:41
  5. "It Never Changes to Stop" – 4:01
  6. "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps." – 4:38
  7. "Venice" – 1:42
  8. "None But Shining Hours" – 2:42
  9. "If Not Now, Whenever" – 3:35
  10. "An Owl with Knees" – 4:41
  11. "Twelve Fold Chain" – 4:44


  1. ^ Smyers, Darryl (April 6, 2006). "Safe and Sound". Dallas Observer. Archived from the original on June 28, 2006. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ ""It Never Changes to Stop" discussion at SongMeanings". gyroscope. 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  3. ^ "The Books: Don't take us literally". The Independent. December 15, 2006. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Lost And Safe by The Books". Metacritic. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Serra, David. "Lost and Safe – The Books". AllMusic. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ Richardson, Mark (April 4, 2005). "The Books: Lost and Safe". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ mr p. "The Books – Lost and Safe". Tiny Mix Tapes. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Books: Lost and Safe". URB: 101. April 2005. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 26, 2005). "Consumer Guide: Laptop for Desktoppers". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ "2005 Rewind". The Wire. December 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings (1962-70) by Albert Ayler
The Wire's Record of the Year
Succeeded by
Burial by Burial