Listening to the fifth album of Beirut, it made me wonder what the hell has happened with the band that always crafted good stuff and gave us four exquisite albums, universally acclaimed as original and interesting. Gulag Orkestar was a true discovery for me, especially because it was inspired by Goran Bregovic, one of the biggest folk superstars in Yugoslavia. The Flying Cup was also a good follower. On the next two albums, Beirut have slow down but it was still a special indie folk with elements of world music and baroque pop. It is the sound that brings smile to my face. Not this time.
No No No is a tacky reproduction of their old sound, it almost screams ‘’We had to release this album so we have decided to just put this quick mosaic in order to make you think it is still the same Beirut’’. It is such a shame. I was expecting so much, for a reason.
Album was partially created as a reflection of a bad period in a life of Zach Condon – his divorce. A lot of melancholic ballades fail to impress, falling one into another, dying in weakness and unwillingness to live fully. Even the vocal sounds like a caricature of Zach.
The opening is solid. Gibraltar and No No No are the only acceptable tracks, everything else sounds like random empty singing. When I got to the middle of the album, As Needed and Perth made me feel like there is a hidden camera in my room. Same disappointment happened with Fener and So Allowed, where the memory of a beautiful folk I loved perverted into something miserably bad. Luckily, the album is short so it didn’t have the chance to turn into a natural catastrophe.
NO NO NO! I just hope Beirut are planning something big with another album, because their fans will need the antidote asap.