A multi-instrumentalist with indie royalty connection and early underground buzz equals instant canonicity, but it might be worthwhile to consider the music itself. The 11 tracks of Gulag Orkestar are very good, but not the stunning achievement you might be led to believe they are.
Beirut is influenced by styles of music that bind together as "Balkan" despite being named Beirut and titling songs after Album) throughout Europe. Even with a number of groups including "Balkan" or "gypsy" or "[clueless rockcrit The Gulag Orkestar - Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar (CDr sounds into unified finished pieces that get catalogued under "rock" instead of "world", there's not been tidy genre movement described.
It's misleading to focus on the uniqueness of Beirut's album. Dig it because you like it, not because there's nothing like it. Fortunately, Beirut's album, while not a career-defining masterpiece, does hold up well against the hype and PBR-aided focus on the foreign.
Gulag Orkestar maintains a consistent aesthetic even as the songs vary enough to stay interesting. The simplest way Beirut changes things up is by varying his time signatures. Fittingly, Beirut sings about feeling like "a tired dog licking his wounds in the shade", The Gulag Orkestar - Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar (CDr.
The disc's bloopiest, cheeriest sounding song isn't a joyful celebration, but a moment of respite. It's a needed one, as the album mostly maintains heavy tones, and an effective one, as Beirut doesn't allow himself to escape the general Album) of the disc.
Unfortunately, the heaviness coming out of this track can feel a bit overbearing. It's not that Beirut lacks precision in his craft, it's that he occasionally lacks subtlety.
Rather than building to climaxes or working his specific atmospheres, he too often indulges in an immediate presentation that leaves the listener little breathing room. Condon has a lovely voice, and he produces it to great effect, tracking it in rounds and with doubling to fill out the voices his large-band sound desires.
That technique sets up the big entrance and slow march that changes the song after its first 90 seconds, and make its softer trumpet and ukelele conclusion an appropriate finish in its echo Album) the gradual growth of the piece's opening.
Tracks like this one show that Beirut has a gift for composition, arrangement, and production and suggest that, as he gains confidence, Condon might create a truly exceptional album. To leave consideration of this album with an expectancy of future ones would do Gulag Orkestar a disservice, as it is quite good. He may be working within an excepted if rarely discussed style, but he's forging is own vision, and he usually succeeds in making beautiful music.
If there a few places for improvement, it's only because those traits are worthy of being improved. Even if it sends us to too many pages in our atlas, Beirut's debut suggests he's someone we'll travel with again. On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.
The Gulag Orkestar - Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar (CDr Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Track Listing. The Gulag Orkestar. Zach Condon. Postcards from Italy. Mount Wroclai Idle Days.
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