Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Album Review: Beirut - The Rip Tide

Again its been a pretty strong year for folk albums, with Fleet Foxes being the best of them to date and a slew of other folk albums at least being pretty strong. You would think that there can't be that many more that find a way to impress. Now with the new album from Zach Condon who works under the name Beirut we have another album that looks to keep up the strong year for folk and do so without sounding like anything else that has taken place before this.

Immediately you get a strong electronic presence in the album, some nice looped keyboard sounds guide the songs through, helping create that back bone of the songs with the drums. At times the songs have additional instrument in the form of trumpets, acoustic guitar and organ to give the songs a grander sound.

One thing I've found from listening to this album is that the album doesn't just stick to a formula, the songs evolve and change as the album goes on. We get some keyboard in the first couple of tracks, then we slow things down and strip it back to a much more soft setting. Then we have horns become a stronger influence on the album, the drums falling back into the mix to allow the horns to take a front seat. By track 5 Payne's Bay we already have a fourth different sound going on in this album, the way Zach Condon has been able to cram so many ideas in so quickly (and eventually the rest of the album) in a very short album is incrediblky cool (only 33 minutes long).

With the shortness in mind and the fact theres 9 songs that theres still time for songs to develop and aren't at all cut short, also the instrumental moments help the greater flow of the songs allowing the beautiful voice of Condon to top this album off.

Overall this is more than a standard folk album, if anything I get interested in the greater use of electronic pieces in the songs, give it a more modern kick and something complletely different to work off. You are still reminded this is a folk album and a lot of these songs do a great job of just flowing on through effortlessly.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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