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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger Sound Equally Beguiling
During the summer Zach Condon (who is, essentially Beruit) discussed his forthcoming album saying it was, interesting how having the band was making a difference to the sound, that he was collaborating with someone who would provide string arrangements, and it was going to have a French feel about it. After the somewhat remarkable "Gulag Orkestra" this seemed an...
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by pjr

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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars c8i6k8ki6kxi75
Yeah, hype, hype... whatever, I love Beirut. Well, to put it correctly, I love Gulag Orkestar; there's a charm to that record that is unmatched in the overblown and far too serious world of indie rock. You can question the legitimacy of the way Zach Condon embraced Balkan instrumentation, but there was a sincerity to it all that made me purposely ignore all criticism from...
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by 77


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger Sound Equally Beguiling, 1 Nov 2007
By 
pjr (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
During the summer Zach Condon (who is, essentially Beruit) discussed his forthcoming album saying it was, interesting how having the band was making a difference to the sound, that he was collaborating with someone who would provide string arrangements, and it was going to have a French feel about it. After the somewhat remarkable "Gulag Orkestra" this seemed an intriguing proposition.

Autum sees the release of the album and it is bigger sounding, imbued with strings, and at times steeped in French chanson. The fact that this is now a band is the most striking development. Where as Condon's debut had a somewhat homespun low-fi feel about it "The Flying Club Cup" has bigger, richer textures. Brass and strings rub shoulders with each other creating something deeper and warmer. The French influences give the album some sharp focus and the influence seems to have sharpened the writing which seems to have managed the difficult feat of improving still on what was a very solid foundation.

This is still, for all its exotic louchness, an album I would happily describe as an indie record. It is definately not world music as Condon takes the basic approaches and then builds his own sound around that. It may offend the world music purists in the approach but it's exactly what upset them last time around. The make or break of this album is the vocals, layered much more confident this time around they are definately something which may well make falling in love with this album difficult for some.

Yet there is much to love here, be it the rolling waltzes of "Cliquot", "Un Dernier Verre", or the title track, or the fact there is still a dash or the Balkan folk which dominated the first album. The neat arrangements, subtle strings and the vocals - at times sounding like a chior of Condons - make this a compelling if different listen. If you like the sonic ambitions of Arcade Fire, the warmth of Sufjan Stevens, and the richness of The Magnetic Fields then this album might well be just what you're looking for.

With so many artists faced with second album expectations rising into the stratosphere, it is nice to find someone who has managed to get their sophomore effort not only out quickly but with something which really builds on the promise shown. It's beguiling and beautiful, with a touch of the exotic about it. There are some great songs here too. Like Paris, the place which inspired so much of it, this is, for some, easy to fall in love with.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What melody will see him in my arms again?, 12 Oct 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
Beirut have always been all about Europe. Ever since Zach Condon started mingling electronica and indie-rock with traditional East-European music, his little band has been redolent of the old world.

And though "The Flying Club Cup" has a more modern flavour to some of its songs, the feeling of wistful, melancholy nostalgia still hangs heavily over these exquisitely orchestrated pop tunes. Think early twentieth-century France, as seen through sepia photographs and a band's sad tunes.

It opens with a haunting chorus of wailing horns, before switching to the smooth, swaying melody of "Nantes." Condon sings mournfully, "Well it's been a long time/long time now/since I've seen you smile/and I'll gamble away my fright... and in a year, a year or so/this will slip into the sea..."

It's much the same throughout the remaining songs, which tend to be bittersweet in tone, with a backdrop of horns and stately pop rhythms. Mellow dance tunes, Eastern European marches, mournful accordion-piano ballads, and pretty folky tunes. Not to mention, of course, combinations of all of the above.

In the second half, we're even graced with some upbeat songs -- the twittering violin and swirling melody of "In The Mausoleum." And the sprightliest music on the album is "Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route)," a peppy pop tune that sounds like something Snoopy would dance to as the World War I flying ace.

If I were to compare Condon and Beirut to any other artist, it would probably be Sufjan Stevens -- polished, multilayered music with rich vocals. But the music of "The Flying Club Cup" is all nostalgia, bittersweet and weariness, mingled with a rich, over-the-top quality. It's so much BIGGER than Beirut's past work -- in sound, in scope, in feeling.

Not to mention that the sound here is a bit less Balkan -- think electro-indie mingled with vintage pop melodies, then filtered through an old French radio. Lots of mellow accordion, mingled brass, rattling drums and tambourine, an acoustic guitar, some twittery fiddle melodies and a nimble, energetic piano. Here are there, a gentle layer of keyboard is laid over it all.

Condon's voice is the clincher -- this guy is not only a great musician, but he has a smooth, rich voice that slides through the music like a satin ribbon. And his songs are evocative and stirring ("A plague on the workhouse!"), with plenty of feeling ("what melody will lead my lover from his bed?/What melody will see him in my arms again?").

Beirut's second album is a stunning artistic triumph, draped in classic melodies, exquisite songwriting and sweeping instrumentation. "The Flying Club Cup" flies on its own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and beautiful, 14 April 2009
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
I am so pleased that I discovered this band - it really grew on me and now I am hooked (so are all my friends who have to listen at my place). The new album (Zapotec) is equally fascinating. New music at its best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What melody will see him in my arms again, 14 Dec 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
Beirut have always been all about Europe. Ever since Zach Condon started mingling electronica and indie-rock with traditional East-European music, his little band has been redolent of the old world.

And though "The Flying Club Cup" has a more modern flavour to some of its songs, the feeling of wistful, melancholy nostalgia still hangs heavily over these exquisitely orchestrated pop tunes. Think early twentieth-century France, as seen through sepia photographs and a band's sad tunes.

It opens with a haunting chorus of wailing horns, before switching to the smooth, swaying melody of "Nantes." Condon sings mournfully, "Well it's been a long time/long time now/since I've seen you smile/and I'll gamble away my fright... and in a year, a year or so/this will slip into the sea..."

It's much the same throughout the remaining songs, which tend to be bittersweet in tone, with a backdrop of horns and stately pop rhythms. Mellow dance tunes, Eastern European marches, mournful accordion-piano ballads, and pretty folky tunes. Not to mention, of course, combinations of all of the above.

In the second half, we're even graced with some upbeat songs -- the twittering violin and swirling melody of "In The Mausoleum." And the sprightliest music on the album is "Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route)," a peppy pop tune that sounds like something Snoopy would dance to as the World War I flying ace.

If I were to compare Condon and Beirut to any other artist, it would probably be Sufjan Stevens -- polished, multilayered music with rich vocals. But the music of "The Flying Club Cup" is all nostalgia, bittersweet and weariness, mingled with a rich, over-the-top quality. It's so much BIGGER than Beirut's past work -- in sound, in scope, in feeling.

Not to mention that the sound here is a bit less Balkan -- think electro-indie mingled with vintage pop melodies, then filtered through an old French radio. Lots of mellow accordion, mingled brass, rattling drums and tambourine, an acoustic guitar, some twittery fiddle melodies and a nimble, energetic piano. Here are there, a gentle layer of keyboard is laid over it all.

Condon's voice is the clincher -- this guy is not only a great musician, but he has a smooth, rich voice that slides through the music like a satin ribbon. And his songs are evocative and stirring ("A plague on the workhouse!"), with plenty of feeling ("what melody will lead my lover from his bed?/What melody will see him in my arms again?").

Beirut's second album is a stunning artistic triumph, draped in classic melodies, exquisite songwriting and sweeping instrumentation. "The Flying Club Cup" flies on its own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant album, I play it on repeat! The service was excellent also, arriving quickly in great condition as described. Very happy, thank you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good deal, 24 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
Was a good aquisition as the CD was in good condition. The price was according the condition. Very fast delivery. Thanks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars beruit, 4 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
this is a great album i have been playing it a lot it makes great background music the singer has an unusual voice which may not be to everyones taste but there you have it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, genius, 25 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
This album is BRILLIANT! Maybe too many 3/4 time songs but some of the tunes are amazing. Can't wait for the next one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New band to me, 9 July 2009
By 
G. Abel (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
This was a complete surprise - a friend suggested a track 'Candy' which I downloaded and then felt it was worth a try for the album - what a wonderful surprise, haunting, happy and folkie music, with sax and volins thrown in for good measure. I shall now look to purchase other albums by Beruit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 21 Mar 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Flying Club Cup (Audio CD)
The Flying Club Cup contains the most compelling melodies and arrangements of songs inspired by French folk and popular music. Coban's addictive voice and the backing vocals are backed by an appealing instrumental mix that including horns, fiddles, piano, violin, viola, mandolin, brass, accordion, strings and layers of percussion. The sound is cohesive and authentic, for a full impressive sound on these beautiful tunes. My favorites include In The Mausoleum, Cliquot, Nantes and the title track. The mood is introspective, even sad at times, but engaging throughout on this unique and remarkable album. Repeated plays are advised, as the album slowly releases its layers of sonic beauty.
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