The Singles Jukebox

Pop, to two decimal places

Verdict: keep your mouth shut.

Iain Forrester: My favourite Beirut song remains one that he doesn’t sing for a reason. This has enough "Comforting Sounds" in it (and enough comforting sounds in it) to be an easy second.

Anthony Easton: Sometimes indulging in your own sadness has a pleasure, a kind of wrapping one’s identity in a depression can be a relief, an excuse for avoiding the world—you can see it in things like Holocene or Helplessness Blues; often the minor key blanketing is attached to a nostalgia, or at least something that sounds like a nostalgia (plaid, moustaches). The interesting thing about Beruit is they manage the feeling without the nostalgia.

Will Adams: A gorgeously arranged and devastating homecoming that loses a large portion of its luster by looping itself twice over and going nowhere. A likely [9] if it were cut in half.

Alfred Soto: Doing nicely — I dug how those synth horns played a variant on Eno’s “Sombre Reptiles” — until he opens his mouth.

Patrick St. Michel: Extremely pretty, but one can only stare at a Fabergé Egg so long before wondering “where is this going” and decide to do something else.

Jonathan Bogart: The last I paid attention to Beirut he was still doing weedy impersonations of trad Balkan music. I’m glad to hear he’s moved on to weedy impersonations of generic emotional indie.

Brad Shoup: A pharmaceutical commercial on IMAX scale.

Sabina Tang: In the great and ongoing Ingres versus Delacroix dialectic, Zach Condon is decidedly on the side of expressionistic brushwork. As a brass-and-the-rest band, Beirut doesn’t have the jamtastic chops to emulate the “world music” from which Condon draws inspiration, and the least of their fans knows better than to ask what the lyrics mean — but the best Beirut songs inspire saudade like no other 00s indie act can manage. The rest of the album is more miss than hit, but this eponymous track is well up in the band’s top ten. And yes, I took it with me on a playlist to Italy.

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