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Beirut 'No No No' album review

Beirut are back with their first record in four years.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 13th Sep 2015

Image: Beirut 

It's been four years since we were last exposed to Zach Condon's pellucid vocal and Beirut's musical travel diary.

Not much has changed since The Rip Tide. Orchestral arrangements, hoppy piano and slender bass notes frequent No No No in the band's usual quaint mould. 

Inspired by Condon's relocation to Istanbul, hence the track 'Fener' - an area of the Turkish capital - the album paints imagery of how you'd imagine the city to be: rustic, cultured and alluring.  

In comparison to the cultural harbouring heard in earlier Beirut records, No No No opts for simplistic sweet melodies that occasionally stray into folk-pop territory.

Title track 'No No No' and 'Perth' offer the most suitable examples, both propelled by whimsy piano sequences to recall the saltiness of the Bosphorus.

Similar to previous works, the record gusts by in just under half an hour, occasionally breaking walking pace.

Condon's voice flourishes; the swirling brass arrangements in 'August Holland' draw a highlight and actually, Zach's stripped down approach is refreshingly palatable for a piece of music formed after a difficult period in his life.  

Like this? Read our review of The Arc's 'Yours Dreamily'