Beirut/Realpeople, 'March of the Zapotec/Holland' (Pompeii)
Global pop voyeur nods to 'corridos de muerte'.
By Jessica Suarez 02.01.09 6:00 PM
Thank God for that voice. Without such caramel pipes, Beirut's Zach Condon would never be able to own his shape-shifting styles -- elegant French pop and Balkan folk on past albums, Mexican funeral marches here. But like a musical version of conceptual photographer Cindy Sherman, he embodies the essence without disappearing completely. The first half of this double EP was recorded with a 19-piece Oaxacan band, who pull the songs away from Condon's reflexive melancholy; but next to their pomp, his sparse bedroom electronics on Holland (under the name Realpeople) feel a tad thin.