Spent the day listening to albums released this year, finding one that is just what one expected and another that surprised me.
Beirut - The Rip Tide
I know it won't be release until Aug. 30 but it's been out in the ether for a few weeks now. The good news, it sounds like great Beirut; the bad news, there's not much change from their previous full-lengths. At first listen, you can hear how the Mexican horns and electronica in 2009's March of the Zapotec/Holland EPs combined to form the basis of The Rip Tide, but unfortunately (or fortunately for those who want Beirut to remain the same) it merely sounds like their previous two albums.
Whereas the EPs surprised by distancing itself from The Flying Cub Cup and Gulag Orkestra, The Rip Tide sounds like a return to form, which in it self it's a mixed blessing. The album is a perfectly enjoyable Beirut long player but one that rarely takes any chances.
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
Here's the surprise I was talking about earlier. An alt-country male and female due with slow burning songs that sound like they were made in the 1860s.
Barton Hollow is a slow-burning album of almost menacing folk songs driven by acoustic instruments and the glorious vocal harmonies of Joy Williams and John Paul White. What I like the most about the album on first listen is the mood it so eloquently evoked, placing you in the middle a southern rainstorm, longing for someone after a bout of loneliness.
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