Gulag Orkestar

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
The best album to come out of Albuquerque since the Shins decamped for the Pacific Northwest, the debut album by Beirut aka New Mexico-born 19-year-old singer/songwriter Zach Condon bears an immediate resemblance both to Denver's DeVotchKa and the current passions of the Athens, GA, crowd formerly associated with the Elephant 6 stable. Like DeVotchKa, Condon is heavily influenced by Eastern European folk music and, to a lesser extent, the mariachi trumpets and Latin rhythms of the desert Southwest: the songs on Gulag Orkestar are lousy with mandolins and similarly plinky members of the string instrument family, accordions, horns, and hand percussion clearly played with ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
The best album to come out of Albuquerque since the Shins decamped for the Pacific Northwest, the debut album by Beirut aka New Mexico-born 19-year-old singer/songwriter Zach Condon bears an immediate resemblance both to Denver's DeVotchKa and the current passions of the Athens, GA, crowd formerly associated with the Elephant 6 stable. Like DeVotchKa, Condon is heavily influenced by Eastern European folk music and, to a lesser extent, the mariachi trumpets and Latin rhythms of the desert Southwest: the songs on Gulag Orkestar are lousy with mandolins and similarly plinky members of the string instrument family, accordions, horns, and hand percussion clearly played with dramatic in-studio arm flourishes. But like the Athens folks some of whom appear here in a supporting role, most notably A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Jeremy Barnes, Condon isn't interested in mere approximations of traditional forms. Condon and friends use the folk instruments primarily as really cool-sounding textures, exotic backdrops for Condon's melodic indie folk tunes and impressionistic lyrics. The lyrics, it must be said, are the album's most obvious flaw, clearly the work of a young, romantically inclined teen who has never been to Europe but has seen a lot of foreign art films about, like, Gypsies 'n' stuff. Ignore the clunky lyrics -- easy enough to do since Condon is an unexpectedly appealing singer with a rich, mellifluous voice that, no kidding, recalls the great bel canto crooners of the pre-rock era along with a little Nick Cave -- and Gulag Orkestar is an infinitely more appealing album.
Billboard - Michael Ayers
Right off the bat, you realize this is serious music for serious listeners.... Traditional, while still sounding immediate.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/2006
  • Label: Ba Da Bing
  • UPC: 600197004821
  • Catalog Number: 48
  • Sales rank: 25,973

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beirut Primary Artist
Zach Condon Organ, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Trumpet, Accordion, Ukulele, Vocals
Heather Trost Violin
Perrin Cloutier Cello
Technical Credits
Alan Douches Mastering
Josh Clark Engineer
Zach Condon Composer, Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beirut

    "...clearly the work of a young, romantically inclined teen who has never been to Europe but has seen a lot of foreign art films about, like, Gypsies 'n' stuff." actually, he claims that he travelled europe at 16 after dropping out of high school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

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    Posted January 18, 2009

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    Posted October 16, 2009

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    Posted March 12, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews