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Gulag Orkestar

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (2126 ratings)
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Gulag Orkestar album cover
01
The Gulag Orkestar
4:38
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02
Prenzlauerberg
3:46
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03
Brandenburg
3:38
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04
Postcards from Italy
4:17
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05
Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
3:15
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06
Rhineland (Heartland)
3:58
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07
Scenic World
2:08
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08
Bratislava
3:17
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09
The Bunker
3:13
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10
The Canals of Our City
2:21
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11
After the Curtain
2:54
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 37:25

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Write a Review 61 Member Reviews

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Open Your Mind

im2tuf2die74

This is the best album to come out in ages. The very essence of heart & soul being put on a recording. I have yet to find anybody who does not like the Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)track. Give it listen from start to finish and be prepared to be enlightened.

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My favorite of theirs

martyyu

If you get one Beirut album, this is it.

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Map of the U.S.

Akiliees99

Albuquerque is in New Mexico, Betty. Great band, if you don't like it just move on.

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Disagree with reviewer below

andytuck

I can't believe how easily you are dismissing him. I was shocked at how much more his music resembled Balkan folk than indie rock (I should know, I studied Balkan music for two semesters. It is certainly not pop as you suggested, not that that is necessarily even a bad thing). As for having a huge ego, I think he is actually just very courageous and confident in his music. Even if you can't appreciate either of these things, you should at least evaluate the music itself. Even if not Balkan or even if it completely unoriginal, it is still very good.

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melodramatic silly crap

chordophone

Just another spoiled brat with a huge ego. Any similarity to anything Eastern is cosmetic and shallow, other than that, just boring pop music. Totally insulting album title to boot, comparable to something like 'concentration camp klezmers'.

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A lesson in ethnomusicology

kuhntownkid

With brass, fiddles, mandolins, and simple song structures, Zach Condon creates Eastern block music the entire family will love.

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Great Album

yruinkorea

One of my favorite albums of the past few years

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Awesome

JazzAlbee

This album caught my attention from the start but over the last three years it has grown and grown on me till it is now a modern classic in my eyes. Wonderful, original, not your everyday songs, horns, eastern european melodies, with an indie sensibility.

eMusic Features

0

Six Degrees of Beirut’s The Rip Tide

By Peter Margasak, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Beirut’s The Rip Tide

By Peter Margasak, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Balkan Bacchanal

By Richard Gehr, Contributor

One line of thirsty listeners made its way toward kegs of dark beer. Another longer line followed the contours of Upper Manhattan's Good Shepherd School gymnasium toward several tables bearing cheese, sausages, hummus, grape leaves and other meze snacks. And a third, even longer, line of folk dancers snaked through the crowded gym, stepping and kicking hand-in-hand to the fulsome sounds of the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, hosts of the 24th annual night-long Golden… more »

They Say All Music Guide

The best album to come out of Albuquerque since the Shins decamped for the Pacific Northwest, the debut album by Beirut (aka New Mexico-born 19-year-old singer/songwriter Zach Condon) bears an immediate resemblance both to Denver’s DeVotchKa and the current passions of the Athens, GA, crowd formerly associated with the Elephant 6 stable. Like DeVotchKa, Condon is heavily influenced by Eastern European folk music and, to a lesser extent, the mariachi trumpets and Latin rhythms of the desert Southwest: the songs on Gulag Orkestar are lousy with mandolins and similarly plinky members of the string instrument family, accordions, horns, and hand percussion clearly played with dramatic in-studio arm flourishes. But like the Athens folks (some of whom appear here in a supporting role, most notably A Hawk and a Hacksaw’s Jeremy Barnes), Condon isn’t interested in mere approximations of traditional forms. Condon and friends use the folk instruments primarily as really cool-sounding textures, exotic backdrops for Condon’s melodic indie folk tunes and impressionistic lyrics. The lyrics, it must be said, are the album’s most obvious flaw, clearly the work of a young, romantically inclined teen who has never been to Europe but has seen a lot of foreign art films about, like, Gypsies ‘n’ stuff. Ignore the clunky lyrics — easy enough to do since Condon is an unexpectedly appealing singer with a rich, mellifluous voice that, no kidding, recalls the great bel canto crooners of the pre-rock era (along with a little Nick Cave) — and Gulag Orkestar is an infinitely more appealing album. – Stewart Mason

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