ALBUM REVIEW: “The Rip Tide” by Beirut

August 30. 2011 | By Carnie

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The Rip Tide
[Pompeii Records]

Beirut’s latest album, The Rip Tide, is going to pull a lot of people back into Zach Condon’s playful parade of rhythm, strings, brass, and more brass. If they left after the magical frustration of March of the Zapotec, then this album will soothe their fears.

Condon’s found his footing with tracks like “East Harlem” and “Goshen 1.” The latter of which Condon actually incorporates a fragile gospelness in his singing for which his collective joins in for a raucous effort at salvation. A truly standout track in Beirut’s short career.

But, my only complaint over the years of Beirut is that Condon moves from one geographic muse to another too quickly. It’s like, what if the Beatles went from “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to “I Am The Walrus” in three albums instead 12? Ok, so Condon’s transformation hasn’t been that extreme, but there doesn’t seem to be an evolutionary process. But does it really matter? Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens or other such odd pop collectives will find everything as it should be in the world of Beirut, and thankfully Condon is allowing us to come along for the ride, wherever that may be.

Beirut – Santa Fe by Revolver USA

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