[one_half last=”no”]
No No No

NBHAP Rating: 4,3/5


[one_half last=”yes”]BEIRUT
No No No

Release-Date: 11.09.2015
Label: 4AD

01. Gibraltar
02. No No No
03. At Once
04. August Holland
05. As Needed
06. Perth
07. Pacheco
08. Fener
09. So Allowed





Years ago I stumbled upon a quite fitting classification of BEIRUT‘s music since some clever music journalist had the idea to label the music of Zach Condon as ‘funeral pop’ which I still find extremely accurate; at least when it comes to the previous releases of Condon. His latest release, however, might be more ‘resurrection pop’, even from the personal perspective of the talented songwriter from New York. No No No is far more than the first BEIRUT longplayer in four long years; it’s also the personal resurrection of Zach Condon and his alter ego after facing a few lows in the past years.

Following an extended world tour back in 2013 Condon faced a nervous breakdown and a divorce which were both followed by a burnout and writer’s block. If there’s a low point in life Condon really faced it and the fact that he made it out of it isn’t a matter of course. The light at the end of Condon’s dark tunnel came in form of the good old-fashioned spark of love and a new woman in his life. The Turkish lady ‘kidnapped’ the musician and took him to her home country where he spent the summer of 2014 and found new energy. Later, after some starting up issues back in New York him and his BEIRUT band members stumbled upon a rare recording momentum last winter, resulting in a surprisingly fast produced album that still sounds like BEIRUT somehow while also showcasing an entirely new side of the musician.

Beirut - Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Even without that almost cinematic back story you can sense the love in No No No all over the place. The nine songs mark the most uplifting and positive spirited release of BEIRUT so far. No signs of a funeral right here. ‘Everything should be fine’ is the opening line Condon sings in Gibraltar while drums and a gentle piano around him create an uplifting spirit right from the beginning. This is the departure to somewhere new, let’s join the band for a ride. The following title-track delivers the same positive spirit, creating a hopeful and optimistic vibe that immediately shakes off all the heaviness BEIRUT created over the past years. Condon and his band members Paul Collins (bass) and Nick Petree (drums) rely on a quite basic instrumentation this time. So, don’t expect that much of the familiar Balkan-pop elements this time. Guitar, piano, bass and drums remain the key elements this time as the three gentlemen also recorded most of the album in a live session setting.

Don’t worry, strings are still involved from time to time and a track like the slowed-down Pachebo still spreads the spirit of BEIRUT from the Flying Club Cup era. But most of the time a joyful playfulness dominates No No No and is sensible in every note Condon, Collins and Petree are playing. Perth is such an addictive piece of easy flowing summer pop, same goes for the enigmatic Fener. The only point of criticism might be the shortness of the whole experience. But on the other side the quickness of the album underlines the momentum of joy and pureness that it tries to capture. Those moments are never destined to last forever and who knows that better than Condon himself? BEIRUT celebrate the spark on No No No which, by the way, couldn’t be titled any more misleading. This album is a big ‘Yes’ to life, love and the power of new beginnings. It’s a ray of light through the grey clouds that covered the band far too often. The next funeral might come sooner than expected but until this happens why not enjoying the better moments in life? Thanks for reminding us about these little things, BEIRUT.

Uplifting, playful and life-embracing – BEIRUT celebrate the power of new beginnings in their most positive and joyful album so far.