Album Review: The Rip Tide – Beirut

Like a small but strong and sturdy wooden boat, The Rip Tide is a vessel of fine craftmanship built with care and consideration. However the waters it traverses are consistently mellow and mild, Beiruts tried and tested Balkan Folk sounds do travel across specific highs and lows, but neither end of the spectrum ever really reaches past mediocrity.

To say I have mixed opinions on the bands third studio album would be akin to saying Zach Condon is a fan of the odd trumpet or two. There are many things on The Rip Tide which work well, however to counter measure that there is plenty on here that I found as exciting and stimulating as the records cover art. Beiruts holy trinity of percussion, brass and vocals once again take centre stage here and although this proven combination makes for some sunny, feel good tunes which leave you feeling warm and fuzzy for a while, they dont have a lasting effect. The problem could be that the group of pretty much mastered this style and to me at least it feels a little like they’re rehashing old ground. I was hoping for a bit more but instead was left with a bit more of the same.

Thats not to say The Rip Tide isn’t appealing or enjoyable at all, far from it there are moments despite being steeped in the same formula work very well. Opening track “A Candles Fire” and in particular “The Peacock” with its warm, rustic and low hanging brass sounds combined with choral voices works very well. Although for me the charm and effect Beirut once hand is starting to wear off for die hard or dedicated fans The Rip Tide will most likely be the album they have been waiting for.



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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.