Beirut, Pompeii

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

For those who loved Beirut's Zach Condon for the simple fact of his genre mashing of indie rock and Balkan music on Gulag Orkestar, you'll find little to love on Pompeii. But for those who love Condon for the slack-jawed emotion he brought to both, Pompeii acts as a perfect lo-fi epilogue to “After the Curtain,” Gulag's Condon-and-a-calliope finale. “Fountains and Tramways” reveals that Condon wanted to be the Magnetic Fields all along (sans the tricky lyrics), showcasing his unintelligible moan over a piano, drum machine and concluding trumpet, while “Napoleon and the Bellerophon” has the same set-up plus an accordion. The focus on this EP, however, isn't the music so much as it is the emotional range of Condon's voice. Often multi-tracked, Condon pulls these compositions up from mere filler into genuinely affecting material.