Beirut – The Rip Tide // ALBUM REVIEW

Now don’t worry, the album isn’t quite as boring as it’s cover. You have already heard ‘East Harlem’, ‘Port Of Call’, ‘Santa Fe’ and ‘Goshen’ and you can already tell from just those songs Beirut’s ‘The Rip Tide’ is going to be an interesting album.

‘A Candle’s Fire’ opens the album, it has a very similar start to ‘East Harlem’ and is a great great to start off The Rip Tide. The powerful fanfare introduction floods us with the regular folky sound and the softer verses lead by ukelele entrance us and grip us immediately, the rest of the song is a triumphant and joyous celebration and leads perfectly onto the next track…

‘Santa Fe’ sounds different to the live versions I had heard before, it has something electronic about it, the organ line that emerges towards the end again emphasises a different side of folk from Beirut. The drum beat is very repetitive to kind of drill the contagious rhythm into our heads, however the trumpets explode into action again and even with the repeating drum rhythm and electronic organ and keyboards adds the classic Beirut sound.

‘East Harlem’ is the next track and even though I have listened to it 1,000,000 times it’s still my favourite. It’s been voted one of the best tracks of 2011 and in many ways I agree. It was the return of Beirut and is just a phenomenal song to laze in the sun to. The piano rhythm, accordion, and trumpet fanfare all add together to make one fucking brilliant and uplifting track. This track is a MUST buy.

‘Goshen’ is the next track, another we have heard before. This is the first track on the album so far that mellows us out, the solo piano and vocal introduction creates a beautiful and touching song that really makes an impact on you. Then, about half way through we begin the build up of soft trumpets and a slight marching band drum roll rhythm. ‘Goshen’ truly gives a chance to relax and get in touch with our emotions.

‘Payne’s Bay’ is probably my favourite after ‘East Harlem’ it starts with some violin and builds up into another joyous folky tune, however ‘Payne’s Bay’ has something special about it, it’s joyous with a hint of disappointment, it really does make you think and I like that. When the track comes back up from its break down there is a nice harmony between Zach and a female singer which is always refreshing to hear making ‘Payne’s Bay’ that little bit more amazing.

For the title track of the album ‘The Rip Tide’ didn’t excite me as much as I hoped. Beautiful still, however it was very repetitive and the only really grasping part was the marvellous violin line. Like ‘Goshen’ it was a nice moment to relax and get sentimental. After listening to it a few times I got used to it, there are many different parts to ponder and reflect on however the continuous rhythm did off put me and if it wasn’t for the trumpets and violins creating all interetsing parts I would have been very let down by this track.

‘Vagabond’ is the next track and obviously a favourite of the band, I saw them backing up Arcade Fire last Thursday and excluding ‘East Harlem’ and ‘Santa Fe’ this was the only other new song they played. This is a marvellous song, it has pretty much everything you could want from Beirut fantastic trumpet line, contagious rhythm, nice accordion part slotted in the middle accompanied with a catchy harpsichord (or whatever they use) arpeggio and a fantastic vocal line. ‘Vagabond’ is another MUST buy.

‘The Peacock’ is the shortest track of the album lead only by organ and vocals. ‘The Peacock’ despite what the name would suggest is a very minimalist song, with only a few chords and repeating vocal line it somehow entrances you into loving it. The song is beautiful and gripping and sort of magical in a very odd way. It’s hard to explain so I can only urge you to trust in this one.

‘Port of Call’ is the final track and is my other favourite, the guitar rhythm is just awesome, the trumpets and rising trumpets in the background all fit in together like a puzzle of a sunny english field, honestly it is the perfect song to finish the album with. Finishing with the song about a port does also make me feel like the ship that set sail at the beginning of the album, the ship that fought through the rip tide has come into it’s port and it’s journey is over. It’s so uplifting and joyful it really does make me believe that this is the end of their journey and really does make me think of this album as a voyage rather than a cluster of songs

Below is ‘Vagabond’ which I haven’t posted before:



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