Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beirut Catches The Rip Tide

Beirut after all these years continues to be at the forefront of the folk music movement. We're not talking moaney vocals and acoustic guitars; we're talking about globally authentic folk music that's traditional and very good. Zach Condon has been taking these elements of traditional folk music and bringing them into his own little world for well over a decade now. His songs reflect their influence over him and are all over the hauntingly beautiful and heartfelt The Rip Tide.

Beirut use so many instruments to enhance their pallet of sounds that anything they do sounds rich and textural and feels as original as possible despite being rooted in a rich tradition of songwriting. Featuring all kinds of horns, guitars, strings, percussion and just about anything else the band could get their hands on The Rip Tide feels and sounds like a trip through the past as if led by gypsies roaming continental Europe. It's an album that emits such a feeling of simpler and better times one can't help but yearn to hear more.

Beirut is a truly special band and even if they skirt around the idea of pop music while gently embracing it and they still have the ability to hypnotize the listener and transport them to another place and another time with relative ease. They are truly a band not made for these times. Their heart collectively is not in the 21st century, but somewhere in the early part of the 20th and it’s written into every song here. The Rip Tide is gorgeous, lovelorn, and perhaps one of Beirut's more accessible works. This is an entrancing record whose majesty resides in its simplicity, lush arrangements, and heartbreaking horn play. Over the last decade they've perfected their sound and become such a seminal band. There really is nothing that Beirut can do wrong and The Rip Tide proves that.

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