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Beirut – No No No

4AD

Beirut - No No NoIt’s been nearly a decade since teenage wunderkid Zach Condon released The Gulag Orkestar, Beirut’s bells-and-whistles, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink-and-Granddad’s-accordion, Eastern-European- influenced debut album. Whist both The Gulag Orkestar and its follow-up, 2007’s The Flying Club Cup packed in a lot, Beruit’s third album, 2011’s The Rip Tide, suggested a shift in tone, moving away from the large brass and strings sections found on previous albums towards a lighter, more electronic-tinged sound.

No No No continues this shift, as evidenced in the title track, the chirpy, piano-led opener “Gibraltar”, and “Perth”, all of which highlight both Condon’s beautiful voice and the poppier sensibility that has emerged in his music in the last few years Tracks such as “At Once” and “So Allowed” show a more reflective side to the band, whilst still maintaining the airiness of the album’s other tracks.

No No No is a light album, and far more summery than its origins (recorded during one of the worst New York winters on record) suggests. At times this lightness makes the album seem slight, and a few of the tracks are forgettable. However, despite this, and a pared-down line up leaving behind the pomp of earlier albums, No No No retains many of the rich elements that drew fans to the band in the first place and suggests a growing maturity in sound.

-Cat Smith-

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