Reviews in 200 Words

The Rip Tide, Beirut

In Album on September 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

It’s rare that a band puts out an album that is both its most accessible, and also its best.  That probably says something about my listening tastes. But three albums in Zach Condon’s Beirut project has put out a something that preserves the impossibly catchy melodies while also anteing up on the timeless diversity. Condon’s robust voice is not for everyone but his songwriting ability ought to be. Tubas, coronets, harmoniums:  these are the tricks of Beirut’s trade. The secret is that the pop ability shines past the marching band tendencies. It’s a warm album, fueled by the comfort home. “Santa Fe” is a song penned by a man who knows that city’s outdoor cafes, antique warehouses and barrios. “Whatever comes through the door – see it face to face,” Condon’s multi-tracked voice sings. “Your days in one… all day at once.” The melody is an earworm par excellence. “East Harlem” is a slow-motion El Camino ride through the borough. “Goshen” is a piano-backed lament of a musician on the road. You can hear Condon pressing the old pedals, sustaining the sound in a big room – an empty room. And we’re all listening. Or at least we should be.

-Jay Cullis

Check us out over at NUVO, where, this week, we also review the new SuperHeavy.

 Check out the latest Beat Jab podcast, via iTunes!




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