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Lon Gisland EP

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, EP, January 30, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

The sleeper hit of 2006, Beirut's Gulag Orkestar came out of nowhere to sell tens of thousands of copies in a matter of months and wound up on countless critics' year-end lists. As a stopgap before recording a new full-length in Fall 2007 -- and as a way to capture some current songs being performed at shows -- the eight-member band checked into Sea Side Studios in Brooklyn to record Lon Gisland.

These are the first studio recordings made by the entire group, and a sampling of the most recent songs by orkestar leader Zach Condon. Lon Gisland features four new tunes and a full band reworking of Gulag's "Scenic World." The five-song EP was initially released with the European edition of Gulag Orkestar (4AD) and as a limited edition, one-sided vinyl 12-inch by Chouette. The Ba Da Bing edition is in a highly collectible digipak format.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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5:48
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2:07
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2:53
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 30, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: EP
  • Label: BA DA BING
  • ASIN: B000KQF70M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Beirut Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you are one that loves to be surrounded by beauty, this it the album for you. It is the perfect mix of melodic vocals and fanciful instrumentals. The first listen is chaotic. The second listen is enlightening. The third unravels one's socks.
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Format: Audio CD
Beirut dazzled listeners with its shimmering debut "Gulag Orkestar," an enchanting mixture of pop, folk and bittersweet Balkan music.

And now to keep fans' attention, frontman Zach Condon is releasing the "Lon Gisland" EP, which continues the slightly angsty gypsy pop and colourful marches. It doesn't really take Beirut's music anywhere, but it's a glorious piece of work on its own.

It opens with a ukelele being strummed, before Condon begins singing mournfully that if he were young, "'I'd flee this town/I'd bury my dreams underground." An accordion and a dramatic blare of trumpets join in as he sings of wanting to escape and "take the big king down."

Things get cheerier with the next song, a colourful march full of sprightly brass and lots of drums. And then it's the middle ground with the more intimate, stripped-down flavour of "Scenic World," which sounds like gypsies on a laundry day.

"Long Island Sound" is kind of a disappointment, since it's basically just a sprawling trumpet tune with a few other instruments by the sidelines. Quite short, too. But it's more than made up for by the finale, the energetic and meditative "Carousels."

Beirut has a unique sound in its music -- warm and celebratory, yet melancholy and mellow. It's hard to believe that a musician as young as Condon could put such depth and passion into his music -- but there it is.

As with the full-length album, "Lon Gisland" overflows with smooth accordion, blares of well-worn brass, and rat-a-tat percussion, with the occasional flourish from tambourine or ukelele. It all melds together into a smooth summery sound.

Condon's lyrics are not as accomplished as the music itself, but they blend into the music very well.
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1 Comment 12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Finding out about Beirut was one of the best things to happen to me (musically) in 2007. And it was through "Lon Gisland" that I found out about this fascinating act. Beirut blends a lo-fi sound not unlike a group of East European gipsies with a folk feel like Sufjan Stevens with Zach Condon's voice coming across much like David Byrne. The result is an exquisite and upbeat, though short EP, that makes your heart pound with excitement making you want to jump, clap and laugh.

After "Lon Gisland", I went back to Beirut's "The Gulag Orkestar" and confirmed their quality. For the time being, this EP easily landed a spot among 2007's best releases. Here's hoping that Beirut continues to produce more music... soon. :)
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Format: Vinyl
This is by far my favorite Beirut album (even tho its just an LP). These 4 tracks are a musical pericope of everything sonically beautiful and artistic that I love about Beirut. I am so grateful it comes on vinyl because this album is a keeper and now part of my permanent vinyl collection. :)
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Format: Audio CD
To me this is Beirut's best work. I can listen to Elephant Gun repeatedly. After much searching, I have finally found new bands that I enjoy, and besides Beirut, I'd include Fanfarlo, Gadji Gadjo, and Le Fanfare du Belgistan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These guys are great. WOW!!! I love this EP, I wish it was longer. It is an amazing mix of German Folk, with Gypsy Funk that is hard to put away.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Beirut has been a favorite for a while. Elephant Gun was one of the first songs I learned on Ukulele, so it has a special place in my heart.
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