Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Balkan Roots

***1/2

BEIRUT
Lon Gisland
Ba Da Bing!

Zach Condon is that truly rare thing, an American -- in fact, a very young American -- who turns a foreign style to his own inauthentic uses without doing it dirt. Gypsy brass as he hears it is gorgeously lyrical because lyricism is his thing, and so he softens the three horns on this EP not just with idiomatic accordion but with ukulele and glockenspiel. The trumpets are cushy too, establishing a comfort level his melodies earn. The worrisome part is that his lyrics are kind of soft too.

Rolling Stone, Jan. 25, 2007

Postscript Notes:

Included in an "Update: Gypsy Music" block titled "Balkan Roots: Beirut, "Borat" soundtrack -- and some actual Gypsy music"; the other reviews were: Boban Markovic Orkestar: Boban I Marko Balkan Brass Fest; Ion Petre Stoican: Sounds From a Bygone Age, Vol. 1; Borat: Original Soundtrack.