Beirut CD reviewed by Troy Brookins

Music Reviews
Beirut CD reviewed by Troy Brookins
Oct 9, 2007, 04:17

Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

BEIRUT The Flying Club Cup CD

There has been much argument over who can truly lay claim to an authentic gypsy sound. Do Gogol Bordello and Devotchka have a monopoly on everything influenced by Eastern and Southern European folk music? Does it matter? For me, Beirut captures the spirit of Parisian cafes and gypsy leanings thus creating music that is timeless without sounding contrived or forced. Zach Condon has tapped into something that works without coming across as a Western exploiter of a culture that he has no apparent lineage. He brings honesty to the music that has opened an appreciation for those who may have never experienced or enjoyed music with an Eastern influence. His latest The Flying Club Cup does explore a slightly different sound than Gulag Orkestar, but it's not anything revolutionary and that's just fine. Beirut keeps it simple and out of your face, which is how music of this nature should be experienced.

Much has been said about Condon over the last year or so that has made him fodder for the indie tabloid scene. His live shows are consistently picked at, his hospitalization for alleged exhaustion has been suspect and his youth always begs the question of how a guy so young can sound so seasoned, but through it all Condon has managed to produce an EP and a sophomore release without seeming to care what others think. I hear he has even left Brooklyn for Paris where they don't care about such bullshit.

Regardless of all the traps placed before him, Condon seems able to see through them all and if The Flying Club Cup is any indication, he's doing just fine. True fans of Beirut should enjoy the record on its own terms and ignore the nitpicking that is bound to engulf this record as those who built him up, with Gulag…, prepare to tear him down. Those that have yet to experience Beirut are in for a treat as The Flying Club Cup is an old world experience delivered by a kid showered in timeless qualities. [Ba Da Bing]

-Troy Brookins

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