Beirut - No No No

by Jim Harris Rating:6 Release Date:2015-09-11

Clocking in at only 29 minutes and consisting of rather minimal piano and gently mixed, not stirred horns and such, Beirut’s No No No, comes across as one last booth still playing while the rest of the carnival is getting all packed up and loaded into the wagons for the next town.

I’ve never been particularly sold on the hum-singing, Rufus Wainwright-inspired crooning that the likes of Zach Condon and Andrew Bird delve into, but the music, at times, has kept me engaged.  The violins, horns, quirky drum sequences, all come across rather pretty and occasionally compelling, even though the emotive, throaty speaking in minor tongues vocalizations really start to grate after a while.  The substance of these musicians is established in the rich textures their words and odd, non-rock and roll instruments create, regardless of the tepid vocal executions.

No No No is either a step back from what Zach Condon has established with those earlier efforts, or a struggle to redefine himself as a more structured and focused particularly pop song writer.  Or perhaps he just said fuck it and decided to reduce it all.  Regardless, for Beirut fans, those diehard college girls and hipster high school students, No No No will probably make them feel good.  But for us marginal fans, who have only a fringe interest in the quirkiness of say a Beirut or Andrew Bird release, this may not be all that worthwhile.

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