Listening to a Books on Tape album is a bit like watching an old detective series. You know all the cliches: the cars, the girls, the guns, the attitudes, and yet every time one of those features pop up on the screen you can’t help but smile and be glad they’re still there. Not to say that Todd Drootin uses the same tricks over and over, but he does get into that zone where you are not surprised when he tries to surprise you. And that’s just perfect. Kid606 does something similar but with a cynicism that makes your teeth grind. Sings the Blues is instead a labor of good-humored pranskterism and double-dare dance tunes. No source is sacred: Drootin plunders everything, from electronica to rock ‘n’ roll, not to mention free jazz — who’s that saxophone in The Crucial that is looped into an insisting leitmotiv? The technique is crudely basic: sample unrelated tunes, loop and reconstruct them into pieces that will run around like baby Frankenstein monsters — they bump into each other, put themselves back together and start running again in a different direction. The melody is constantly cheerful, simplistic, irresistible. In fact, you could say that Books on Tape is the missing link between Kid606 and Felix Kubin. Highlights include Republic Of, She’s Dead To Me, the spooky Frisson and the aforementioned The Crucial. It’s all good chopped-up, jerky, yet very sleek fun.