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25 Reviews
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play, Orkestar!
To be honest, when I think of psychedelic bands I don't usually think of Balkan folk music. But with the release of Beirut's "Gulag Orkestar," I may have to revise my thinking.

This new band consists of teenage musician Zach Condon, along with people from Neutral Milk Hotel and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, making bittersweet folkpop and danceable marches. Imagine a...
Published on 10 Feb 2007 by E. A Solinas

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars .
Perhaps the biggest victory for the indie community last year was realising that inputting "Beirut" into Google would bring up the city second, with Zach Condon's one man band coming first. This is not only a testament to the size of the internet's music community but to the sheer power of word of mouth and hype; enabling a bedroom-based music project to overpower the...
Published on 4 Oct 2007 by 77


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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Death of the Guitar - Hurrah, 3 July 2006
By 
S. Murphy (Worcester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gulag Orkestar (Audio CD)
Beirut have here created a darling record. If you can imagine The Magnetic Fields jamming with the Ukranians, with Yann Tiersen and Sufjan Stevens helping out, you can imagine this glorious cyrillic jam session. Don't be misled by reviews though, it's not as woozy and unco-ordinated as it has been painted. The tightest (and best) thing on the records are the springy little beats in the background, which sound like a master african drummer playing a tupperware or paint-tin. Sweet and dark. If you have ever wondered what a New Orleans Funeral would sound like in Siberia, wonder no more. I am having track 4 'Postcards from Italy' at my cremation. Prost!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album Of The Year?, 3 Nov 2006
This review is from: Gulag Orkestar (Audio CD)
One of the albums of the year. Not only is this album full of incredible tunes (though I dont get all the pitchfork hype about him being "the next Jeff Mangum"..bit ridiculous) its also introduced me to other bands I'd never have listened to if I wouldn't have gotten this (A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Kocani Orkerstar). Rhineland, Postcards From Italy, Scenic World, The Gulag Orkestar, Mount Wroclai..too many good songs for one album. Surely.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ., 4 Oct 2007
This review is from: Gulag Orkestar (Audio CD)
Perhaps the biggest victory for the indie community last year was realising that inputting "Beirut" into Google would bring up the city second, with Zach Condon's one man band coming first. This is not only a testament to the size of the internet's music community but to the sheer power of word of mouth and hype; enabling a bedroom-based music project to overpower the capital city of Lebanon. Impressive indeed, and perhaps that goes someway to explaining why I've always imagined Gulag Orkestar to be a celebration of some sort. I still don't believe Beirut to be the second coming of the much famed NMH (my mum's description of "mafia wedding music" seems more fitting) but listening to the album a year after its release suggests that it requires more than a passing glance in the history of indie rock.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stumbled across by chance, 30 Jun 2007
By 
J. Hutt "Indie Kid" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to admit, this time last week I hadn't even heard of Beirut (unless you're talking about the capital of Lebanon). Whilst at Glastonbury Festival this year, I was drawn to this music emanating from the Jazzworld Stage.

It caught my attention because it was different, the sound of various brass instruments, the odd mandolin and accordion fused together to create to what appears (in mind) to sound like something you'd expect in Eastern Europe (I believe they originate from the USA).

A fantastic album all-round.
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3 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the most disappointing album I ever knew, 3 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Gulag Orkestar (Audio CD)
I am and was VERY sorry to waste my time, money and hope bying this piece of "music". Please, please, if you REALLY WANT to listen to some unique music in an Eastern European style, DO NOT BOTHER wasting your money for that sort of weak immitation. Really, really a waste of time!
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