Be it a response to the sell-out shows, the large-scale support slots or the general pattern of settling down, Zach Condon has certainly gone out to make his most simple, most refined album to date.
It strikes you as quite peculiar; that this didn't exist in Beirut's back catalogue already. Every track borrows from an album of old - merely simplifying previous formula and relying on good hooks and striking choruses rather than the art of invention (`March of the Zapotec') or a pure wow factor (`The Gulag Orkestar'). If anything, the material on `The Rip Tide' is in many ways more effective, or at the very least, more instant than any of Condon's previous records as a whole, especially when it comes to the likes of `Santa Fe' or the album's title-track. These songs aren't lacking in the drama of their predecessors, but they more often than not have a similar impact.
Its patch-work pastel sleeve spells out as much: This is an album to be taken at face value. There's nothing more than a joining together of fantastic, well-crafted songs to be found here - but sometimes this is all that's required.