Beirut- The Rip Tide

Beirut released their new album officially this month under Zach Condon’s Pompeii Records. “The Rip Tide”, which represents the 4th recorded album for the band led by Condon himself, is a mature and strong collection of 9 songs that confirms the enormous though subtle power of Beirut’s music.

As in previous albums, the band takes us on a musical trip where traditional 4/4 march-beats, ¾ waltzes, and delicate piano arrangements are fully decorated with multiple horns, strings and electronic keyboards. In “Santa Fe” and “Vagabond”, Condon shows how easily the band can expand their range towards a pop-oriented sound, keeping though a Beirut approach. The newly recorded version of “East Harlem” differs slightly from the one we heard in their live recording from “Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg”, here Condon cries “Sound is the color I know, … sound will bring me home again”, and he is probably right.

“Goshen”, my favorite song of this album, is a soft tune that talks about the choices we make, the opportunities we must take in life, and above all the price we pay in doing so. The song that gives the name to the album, “The Rip Tide” is a deep and reflective song with sad lyrics, which unfortunately might sound familiar to many “And this is the house where I, I feel alone, feel alone now. And this is the house where I could be unknown, be alone now”.

Overall the album shows the breath of music Beirut can easily display. Here, the amount of references to foreign influences is not as pronounced as in previous recordings. However, Condon and his band are for sure in the continuous search of their sound, one that would undoubtedly sound to Beirut, whatever that would be. In the process, however, they have given us a large collection of beautiful recordings, some which had marked us indefinitely. I almost wish they would keep searching forever.

The band is on tour, and I count the time for their November show in Philadelphia for which I hold two tickets. My wife and I are eager to finally seeing a band that has written part of our soundtrack together.

I leave you with a clip of “Goshen” from their recent show at the Wellmont Theater in NJ from May 13, 2011. Plus, a link to NPR’s All Songs Considered where you can listen to the album in its entirety for a period of time.




Beirut- The Rip Tide at NPR’s All Songs Considered

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