The Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)
Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Oct. 26, 2007
BeirutThe Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)
In a little over one year, 21-year-old Zach Condon has gone from College of Santa Fe dropout to purveyor of Old World charm. Where last year's incredible debut, Gulag Orkestar, added Balkan touches to Condon's ukulele and flügelhorn, The Flying Club Cup entices with French street festivals, sepia-toned love songs, and hypnotic strings arranged by new BFF Owen Pallett. It's a slow-motion ballet immortalized on album. Tuning to E-flat in opening nudge "A Call to Arms," Beirut eases into "Nantes," though it's following waltz "A Sunday Smile" that sets the tone: simply complex, clear, and beautiful. Pallett lends his voice to the ominous "Cliquot" and his vision to Parisian modern-jazz trot "In the Mausoleum," which would feel at home with either Audrey Hepburn or Dorothy Dandridge. Make no mistake, though: All the bliss and daydream leans on multi-instrumentalist Condon's soul-stirring voice and inexplicable talent, both as bandleader and world traveler.