Review: Beirut “March of the Zapotec & Realpeople-Holland” EP

Fire up your hookahs and espresso maker-Beirut has unleashed another one upon us.

Zach Condon is about as restless as Tyra Banks (clip)……sorry, I’ll never compare those two again.

That was supposed to be a statement about Zach’s neverending need to travel. For this split EP, Zach traveled to Mexico, and used a 19 piece local band to record these new songs with. I’m just glad the Patriot Act has slowed this guy’s passport down any, because if that were they case, your ear would not be able to enjoy March of the Zapotec

And enjoy it you will. The six new songs (with only three clocking in over 3 mins) are just a reminder how much you love to hear this man sing about amazing places you’ll never get to go. The single, “La Llorona,” is a wonderfully crafted song, on par with the best off of The Flying Club Cup. The disc’s closer, “The Shrew” is possibly one of the best Beirut songs ever cut, granted you can ever get “Postcards From Italy” or “The Penalty” out of your head.

So, once your friends slap you and make you take the first disc out, the Realpeople-Holland awaits you…….more or less.

Realpeople is Zach’s pre-Beirut handle. It’s basically an electro version of Beirut…but somehow it doesn’t sound nearly as good. It basically sounds like a bad producer took some Beirut vocal tracks and slapped them down over a tacky Garageband preset. I mean, “No Dice” sounds like an overdrawn, muddy version of “A Sunday Smile.” And unfortunately, this half of the EP is about double the length of the stellar first.

One or two of these tracks may grow on you. I’ve come around to finding “The Concubine” was the bridge between Realpeople and the expansion that became Beirut, and I now enjoy it’s existence.

That said, March of the Zapotec is just another prime example of why we love Beirut, and only makes future vicarious visits to stange lands with Zach even more tantalizing.



4 responses to “Review: Beirut “March of the Zapotec & Realpeople-Holland” EP

  1. silenceinarchitecture

    I’ve tried to get into Beirut, but have never really been able to. It’s the same problem I have with Andrew Bird or The Decemberists: I feel like, in theory, I should love this stuff, and while I’m listening to them I like it well enough. But then I kind of forget that I have the albums. I’ll give the new stuff a try. But only for you, Chase. Haha. Must…avoid…snarkiness.

  2. When I was first introduced to Beirut, I was dabbling with Tony Allen & other afro beat. So, anything that had this world sound (even Easter European) was entrancing. And then it just stuck with me.

    I was punch drunk with Gulag Orkestar, but I feel like his last one took me a lot longer. the music is a little bit richer, i feel. I didn’t really get into it until this past summer.

  3. silenceinarchitecture

    Tony Allen is the shit. I started getting into afro beat ‘cuz of Blur. Before Damon started mentioning it all the time, Fela Kuti was really all I knew. So I give him credit for opening up a door.

  4. I give Damon credit for just about everything I ever loved when it came to music.

    My life has been so much better since I bought 13 back in ’99

    But yes, definitely for Tony Allen, since I picked it up from “Music is my Radar”

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