A Sophisticated Waltz

Alternating between hauntingly maudlin and an oddly bittersweet and twee ethos, Beirut's "The Flying Cub Cup" is an album to ride the bus to, or to waltz to with your friends and lovers. Beirut manages somehow to recognize both the depth of sadness available in the European waltz form, but also the sense of triumph present in the music of French tradition.

"The Flying Cub Cup" is a brilliantly eccentric album made by Zachary F Condon, a lo-fi whiz kid from New Mexico, with help from Canadian whiz kid, Owen Pallet (aka Final Fantasy). Comparisons to Final Fantasy are justified: the album will saunter through your head for days and rock your brain's cradle until you fall peacefully asleep, and it succeeds at making you sad about love you've lost and love you still have. And the Canadian associations don't end there, because if you listen to Zach's voice and musical style, you are inevitably reminded of the traditionalist pop vocals of Ron Sexsmith. This is how your grandparents' music sounds when smart artists recharge the new scene with the old scene.