Mainly every article I write about Beirut would probably use the same title. Bombs over Beirut doesn't seem PC enough, and Beirut Cause probably wouldn't only suffice in the event that Zac Condon decided to start a fundraising organization. Which, coming from New Mexico, and knowing of his latin american influences in his work (see March of the Zapotec bro) is not completely out of the question ...
But as usual I have strayed from the course which is holy wack a mole am I enjoying 'The Rip Tide' ... it's basically the album i've been waiting for all year. I mean, I almost always have my hopes up to find something new to really rev me up about music. A new band, a new sound, a new character emerging ... To an extent i would say EMA and Liturgy have provided those things for me this year.
But honestly who doesn't want that one album that draws you in like sweet butterscotch candy. You just can't stop listening to it. For whatever reason the songs recall familiarity and yet have a sense of creativity that shines. A great example from 2010 is the National's High Violet. They didn't reinvent themselves, they just took what they did best, and put together a great collection of The National songs.
On The Rip Tide you won't find anything Condon hasn't done before. But neither will you find anything to be disappointed about. The bread and the butter aka organs, trumpets, and accordians are all still front and center, along with Condon's sorrowful swoon which colors over the brash trumpeteering with melodic control.
Staple tracks like Goshen and East Harlem support some delving into more pop friendly sounding tracks like Santa Fe. Even songs that tend to start slow like Payne's Bay end in classic bombast and crash for which Beirut is best known for.
I think there's a strong comparison to the King is Dead, whereby a classic group put together a an album that was unmistakably their own. But what puts the Rip Tide ahead is it's ability to not seem as complacent. While I find the King is dead enjoyable, it by no means stretches the songwriting chops of that excellent band.
Perhaps it's best metaphorical comparison is it's own name: The Rip Tide. It's gripping, and dragging, and pulling you out to sea, and just when it's got you it gently lets go.
3 bro thumbs up bro.