Beirut – The Rip Tide
Beirut have undoubtedly found an audience their music can speak to directly already, yet The Rip Tide finds singer Zach Condon attempting to shrug off his more exotic musical influences in pursuit of a singular sound. Not that fans will mistake this for anything other than a Beirut record, but album number three stands as a mature progression, Condon no longer buried under the boisterous brass and ramshackle recording techniques of yore.
The irony perhaps is that these nine tracks form a proverbial slow-burner; stick with it and The Rip Tide is flush with what drew us to the young troubadour in the first place. There’s restrained beauty in Goshen and The Peacock, a defter handling of Condon’s kitch-electro tendencies on the glorious Santa Fe and, still, lashings of the warm Bavarian folk considered the core of Beirut. Rather than solely tread a familiar path or throw a divisive curveball, The Rip Tide succeeds at giving us the best of both worlds. [Darren Carle]