October 18, 2007

Record Review: Beirut 3/3

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Beirut came outta nowhere last year. Where in New Mexico did this high-schooler find eastern European gypsy music? These days, it seems that Zach Condon, the prodigy mastermind of the band, has moved out west from the Balkans to set up camp in France. Condon fitted himself with a striped shirt and a beret, filled his satchel with a baguette and some brie, became remarkably unfriendly and picked up the accordion. Well, he had played the accordion before, and the rest is just speculation, but he definitely wants his audience to know that he’s mentally gone to France, switching up song titles from “Mount Wroclai” and “The Gulag Orkestar” to “Nantes” and “Cherbourg.”
The music is a little lighter on its feet now as well. “Nantes” feels like a logical progression from the excellent Lon Gisland EP, in which the band first experiments with this island breeze versus avalanche instrumentation and Condon even adds a drum (or some sort of “Bangin’ on a Trashcan” type effect) into the song. It seems he gave into the idea of including some toe-tappers into the mix. Rest assured, the kid’s velour voice still shellacs itself onto the music thick and heavy, like musical molasses. Some things will never change.