Rip Tide washes over awaiting fans

Beirut released their latest album, The Rip Tide, to adorning fans on August 30.
Beirut released their latest album, The Rip Tide, to adorning fans on August 30.
It was August 30th and Beirut fans all over the world rushed to their local record store to purchase the small brown Indie album with The Rip Tide written on the middle of it. Not having anything to feed our Beirut hearts since 2007, when the band released The Flying Club Cup, this album had to be the best. Although Zach Condon, lead singer of Beirut, did give us March of The Zapotec EP back in 2009, the feeling of a full album just wasn’t there.

As a Beirut lover myself, I had already pre-ordered the album on iTunes, so I woke up that morning, had my coffee, and downloaded The Rip Tide.

This album starts off great with the trumpet powered song “A Candle’s Fire”. It begins with a slow, quiet accordion, then surprises you with powerful drums and the beautiful harmonizing of trumpets that we Beirut fans love so much. Then the song leads into Condon’s strong, almost perfect voice.

One thing I noticed about the album was that the lyrics were actually understandable. In their past albums you’ll notice all the words in a song blend into one. It’s almost as if Condon doesn’t take a break to breath through a whole song. Of course, I love the usual sound of Condon’s voice in the previous albums, but it’s nice to actually understand what he’s singing about.

To me, The Rip Tide kind of has a happier sound to it than Beirut’s past albums. When you play it you just feel good, as if everything is going to be okay.

There’s one song on this album that I just adore. I can listen to it over and over again and not get tired of it. “East Harlem”, the third song on the album with a beautiful accordion start and leading into a lively piano melody, with trumpets sounding every once in a while. It is the best song on The Rip Tide.

A strange thing I noticed about this album, though, was that the band mainly focused on using piano, strings and horns for their songs. In their previous albums, they had sort of a cool electronic sound mixed with the main Beirut instruments, but there is absolutely none of that in this album. I guess Condon just wanted to give off a more natural sound rather than a “pop-like” computer sound.

I must say the length of the album was very disappointing with only ten songs. I mean, come on. It’s the shortest album yet, and I know Beirut can give us more than this. However, The Rip Tide is really good and I didn’t find one song that I didn’t enjoy, so I guess that makes up for the shortness.

I did wish that The Rip Tide would have had songs that were as good or greater than “The Concubine”, “A Sunday Smile”, or “Nantes”, but there really wasn’t a song beautiful enough to make my hair stand up when I listened to it like those amazing songs did.

Overall, I was pleased with The Rip Tide, and it will surely be put on my list of best new albums.