Beirut: The Rip Tide (Review)


The Rip Tide

Pompeii Records

Former wunderkind world pop troubadour Zach Condon is now twenty-five years old. The Rip Tide, the third full length release of his band Beirut, retains a recognizable aesthetic, referencing now familiar signatures such as Gypsy folk inflections, warbly indie singing, bedroom electro experimentation, and rousing oom-pah-pah band arrangements.

So, you might ask (you cheeky hypothetical reader!), what’s different this time out.?The balance of elements. A sense of restraint pervades the arrangements: Eastern European influences (“A Candle’s Fire”) and retro synth pop (“Sante Fe”) season the brew instead of dominating the songs themselves, upstaging them as the focal point of interest. It’s a good thing too, as Condon’s songwriting is tighter and more reflective. The songs propelled by their constituent elements – melody, lyrics, etc. –  rather than by arranging touches – however exuberant and delicious they may be.

Is a “maturing” Beirut just as entertaining?  Indeed it is! Does Rip Tide still have the capacity to thrill? Indeed it does. Recommended.

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