On Beirut's third full-length, the seasoned vocal cords of Zach Condon sing of longing and wandering in a pixilated world out of reach. The Baroque instrumentation that has defined the band's sound remains, but here it is buoyed by dynamic shifts and surges that propel Condon's lonely croon. While always capable of conjuring a potpourri of emotion and imagery, the 25-year-old New Mexico native has evolved into an engaging songwriter.
"A Candle's Fire" kicks things off with a beautiful barrage of old-world orchestration that brings to mind wine-soaked strolls through cobblestone roads in Eastern Europe. The travels continue with Condon's oft-explored theme of home on lead single "Santa Fe," before changing gears toward the pensive ambiance of "East Harlem." Under a gentle yet full backdrop of ukuleles and trumpets that stretch like skin over a drum, the record transitions seamlessly from song to song before the fitting departure of "Port of Call."
There is no filler on Beirut's most mature and well-rounded album to date. Its nine songs clocking in at a brief 33 minutes, The Rip Tide lets the listener go just as soon as it has pulled him in.
- Album: The Rip Tide
- Artist: Beirut
- Label: Pompeii Records
- Songs: (1) A Candle's Fire (2) Santa Fe (3) East Harlem (4) Goshen (5) Payne's Bay (6) The Rip Tide (7) Vagabond (8) The Peacock (9) Port of Call