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The Rip Tide
on September 26, 2011
Finally, after confusing people with the March of the Zapotec double EP, Beirut has released their third, concrete album. The Rip Tide is decidedly in the same vein as the previous two LPs, and that is what's wonderful about it. After experimenting with French and Latin influences, Zach Condon has taken further Balkan cues from his debut, Gulag Orkestar.
Gulag is the strongest album Condon has recorded; however, Rip Tide matches the quality of Flying Club Cup (#2). Once more, listeners feel as though they're on a hundred-year-old train, traveling to some long-forgotten old town. There are more upbeat songs here compared to previous tracks, particularly on 'Santa Fe', 'East Harlem', and 'Vagabond'. There is also a wonderful throwback in 'Payne's Bay' to Condon's first recording on an EP entitled The Joys of Losing Weight.
Although some have disregarded this track, a highlight of the album is 'The Peacock'. It carries that familiar, melancholic tune that Condon has conjured up on tracks like 'Postcards from Italy' and 'On A Bayonet'. It is buried at the end of the LP, and has consequently become my favorite track of mid-2011.
On an anecdotal side note that the Amazon universe seems to love: I just saw these guys perform tonight. They are, honestly, a great band. They are shockingly good at getting to the heart of nostalgic, melancholic music. Get Gulag, get this, get everything in between and you will, most likely, feel 100x more human than your office cubicle lets you.