Beirut “Lon Gisland”

By Gus Bode

Beirut “Lon Gisland”

Release Date: Jan. 30, 2007

Ba Da Bing


Rating: 4/5

Beirut is the brainchild of 20-year-old musical phenomenon Zach Condon and “Lon Gisland” is Condon proving critics wrong that he couldn’t consistently follow up his amazing debut “Gulag Orkestar.”

“Lon Gisland” is a five track EP that explores the brassy gypsy sounds of Beirut with a more epic and sprawling sound that teases listeners with what Condon can do with a full band.

“Elephant Gun” is the opening track and starts with a gentle ukulele with Condon’s wavering voice pouring out his soul about being young. It doesn’t take long for those lush horns to make their way into the song and as everything ties in, the difference in having a full backing band is clearly beneficial.

No longer does the album have that canned sound that really hindered it on “Gulag Orkestar.” It breaks free of comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel by giving the audience a shimmering record that isn’t afraid to sound very high quality. Every instrument seems to flourish with the audio changes.

“My Family’s Role in the World Revolution” charges like a bull with a pounding beat and an upbeat sound. It’s a small instrumental that really feels playful, but is more revealing in what Condon’s new group of lackeys can do. It’s an energetic and quick burst of energy before moving to the slower half of the record.


“Scenic World” is an alternate version of the song from Beirut’s debut and really hints at what Beirut’s next album will sound like. It sounds more clean and polished, and really captures Condon’s wandering vision and vocals perfectly.

As this short trip reaches its end on the song “Carousels,” the true beauty of “Lon Gisland” is realized with the saddening trumpets and a piano that prances along.

Condon is prepared for the next evolutionary step in his band, and with a prelude like this, his next album is going to be a monster.