Thursday, November 1, 2007

album review : The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

Before I start the review, I'll also recommend Beirut's first album, The Gulag Orkestar. It's really good, and it's built around the foundation of eastern European folk music. Awesome.
Where The Gulag Orkestar uses east Europe as inspiration, The Flying Club Cup uses France. This entire album is an homage to the French countryside, the French people, and French life. Automatically this made me very interested in listening to the album, because.... well, I love France. It also made me slightly worried, because I didn't want one of my favorite musicians to mischaracterize one of my favorite places. Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. Zach Condon does a splendid job of characterizing France in his music.
  In fact, I didn't even realize what a good job he had done until the third or fourth listen through the album. I then realized that the time I normally would have spent trying to analyse the instrumentation and songwriting style was completely occupied by just enjoying the music. Owen Pallett's string arrangements helped immensely in this area. The writing is so cohesive that I didn't even notice it, and instead the music just enthralled me.
Some standouts on the album are:
  • Nantes, a sorrowful chanson about someone seperated from his love
  • The Penalty, (embarrassingly enough, I'm not sure what the lyrics are about...)
  • Forks and Knives [La FĂȘte], which is easily the best song on the album.
On the title track, there is an obvious Sufjan Stevens influence that made me smile, and the
pizzicato / xylophone ending of Forks and Knives is enough reason to buy this album. Absolutely
one of the best of this year.

album page, with INCREDIBLE blogotheque videos on it.

No comments: