Spin - p.1143.5 stars out of 5
-- "[A]n unironic homage to France, intending to evoke a different city on each song....It adds up to great fun..."
Uncut - p.1044 stars out of 5
-- "Condon coos these heart-broken serenades and intoxicated ballads in a liquid vibrato moan somewhere between Thom Yorke and Antony Hegarty."
Alternative Press - p.1303 stars out of 5
-- "[Condon's] vocals are more pronounced when he's joined by a chorus of fellow believers, making this band of sonic gypsies seem communal rather than individual..."
Magnet - p.91
"The album serves as a musical travelogue through various French cities and deals with the country's rich tradition of music, fashion and culture.....Stunning."
CMJ - p.10
"Condon is freed up to write some of his best melodies yet -- like the wine-stained waltz 'Forks And Knives' -- and his newly mature, melodramatic croon is in fine form throughout."
Q (Magazine) - p.80Ranked #26
in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007."
Beirut: Zach Condon (vocals, mandolin, ukulele, conch shell, accordion, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, euphonium, piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ, Farfisa, glockenspiel, percussion); Owen Pallett (vocals, violin, piano, celesta, harpsichord, organ, steel drum); Jason Poranski (guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Nick Petree (guitar, percussion, background vocals); Paul Collins (bouzouki); Jon Natchez (mandolin, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Heather Trost (violin, viola); Kristin Ferebee (violin); Perrin Cloutier (viola, cello, upright bass, background vocals); Kelly Pratt, Tracy Pratt (euphonium); Kendrick Strauch (piano); Griffin Rodriguez (background vocals); Luba B. Glade.
On THE FLYING CLUB CUP, Beirut's highly anticipated second full-length album, youthful musical mastermind Zach Condon outshines his lauded debut, GULAG ORKESTAR, by presenting elegant and dramatic songs that seem more at home in their vintage European accoutrements. While some tunes sound straight out of Yann Tiersen's AMELIE soundtrack, in particular the swaying "Forks and Knives (La Fete)," others carry a dramatic flair that nods to fellow indie-pop wunderkind Patrick Wolf, most notably the urgent "Guyamas Sonora."
Despite these and other comparisons (Calexico, Magnetic Fields, etc.), however, Condon manages to make CUP's swooning Francophilia both unique and timeless, burying his New Mexico roots so deep it would seem that he has to be from somewhere in the Old World. Although the record generally lacks snappy singles, the exception being the dynamic "Nantes," it works remarkably well as a whole, resulting in an engaging and enveloping listening experience that giddily soars over a mythical Europa.