It’s a cause for celebration, The Rip Tide  – a commencement party for a band shedding its eccentricities and rounding down its cultural influences in favor of delightful, orchestral pop. Three cheers for Beirut, as they move out from under the cloudy, drunken Eastern Bloc influences of their former albums and into the sun of American indie. That is, if that’s what you want from this band. Seeing how all things must naturally progress, Beirut doesn’t sprint away from who they were toward something they’re not, but rather they gently refine the excitement of their first two albums into a product with a focused scope and broad appeal. Zach Condon, ringleader of the group and lead songwriter, leaves the impoverished waltzes behind in favor of a rich future with tighter arrangements, fuller sound, and generally better spirits.

It’s not as much like Citizen Kane as it may seem, but The Rip Tide definitely is the band aiming for something far more nationalistic than ever before, and thanks to the prodigious arranging and songwriting talents of Condon, songs hit their mark over and over again throughout the record. For a taste of nationalism, you needn’t look further than the song titles, many of which reference US cities, ports, and neighborhoods and use those locations as backdrops. The piano ballad of “Goshen” slowly adds layers of horns and snare over Condon’s forlorn voice as he sings t0 a woman frightened of one stage or another. When he croons, he recalls that pre-rock and roll, Italian-American voice with a shaken vibrato, so that no matter how relatively modern the instrumentation may be, there’s always a sense of the past in Beirut’s songs.Consequence of Sound


Robert Earl Keen Ready For Confetti
Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV
Ry Cooder Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down
Lenny Kravitz Black & White America
Counting Crows August & Everything After: Live at Town Hall
Mike Doughty Yes & Also Yes
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Am I The Enemy
Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman World Wide Rebel Songs
Jill Scott Vol. 1 – Original Jill Scott From The Vault
Cobra Starship Night Shades
Glen Campbell Ghost on the Canvas
Tinariwen Tassili

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