Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend


3.5
great

Review

by Marzuki USER (7 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2012 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music to listen to while eating caviar on a beach in Anguilla.

Indie music loves poverty. I’ll make a sweeping statement here, and say that if a new artist is someone ‘authentic’, someone ‘from the streets’, then it will be much easier for hipsters everywhere to etch that artists name into their hearts with permanent ink.

Now, a well known fact is that the members of indie pop outfit Vampire Weekend are not poor. The topics of most of the songs on this self titled debut are lush images of wealth, of privilege, and academic intelligence. Foreign (i.e European) accents run amok, names of cities are thrown around with wild abandon, and with a flourish of these-are-the-new-Beatles hype, ladies and gentlemen, Vampire Weekend.

Let’s get to the actual music, shall we not" This New York quartet makes warm, airy pop songs which shuffle along and breathe and waltz around in a very refined way. This is particular apparent in the guitar playing of lead vocalist Ezra Koenig, which is very clean and decently informed in African pop. His voice is exuberant and clear, and it works well in delivering the detail-heavy, but not really outstanding lyrics. The other members of the band work well too, and the hand-drum rhythm sections as well as the conventional drum rhythms are quite a joy to behold.

On a song by song basis, the first half of the album is by a considerable margin the better one. ‘Oxford Comma’ delights with its simple shuffling keyboard beat, and it’s a real achievement when the things not done in a song are almost as important as the instruments. This could easily have been overdone with too much stuff going on, but the song has a lot of room to breathe and this is a very satisfying thing.

‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ is another such song – probably the best one, grabbing your attention like so many indie bands fail to do, and forcing you to listen to its relatively sparse arrangement right until the keyboard riff denouement. ‘M79’ is my subjective favourite, though – it’s simply lovely in everything it tries to do, and the beginning reminds me of King Louis XIV. Because, you know, string sections.

After ‘Campus’ – which is good, but not great – Vampire Weekend are somewhat disappointing. None of the material past the halfway mark, save the ballad ‘I Stand Corrected’ which is actually a very good song, is worth mentioning really. It’s a real shame, too, because I was pretty sure I’d give this a 4 before ‘Bryn’ arrived.

Are Vampire Weekend the greatest thing since sliced bread" No.
Are they pretty cool though, like sliced bread is pretty cool" Yes.
Would Vampire Weekend actually buy ordinary sliced bread, or would they have the finest loaves imported from a bakery in Napoli and sliced by their butlers" (That is a rhetorical question)

Vampire Weekend fails to live up to its hype, but at its heart are a bunch of warm, pleasing songs, and that’s good enough for me.

Hell, at least we can enjoy something which has “Vampire” in it, right"

Colour: Rosé red
Choice Lyric: So go, I know you would not stay/It wasn't true, but anyway/Racist dreams you should not have



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user ratings (1507)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
DivineBolt (3.5)
Although Vampire Weekend can't quite measure up to the hype enveloping their self-titled debut - aft...

567ajt (5)
"I see a mansard roof through the trees"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, I don't mean to say that all indie music listeners are hipsters. Yes, I said Napoli instead of Naples. Yes, this review is better than my last one.

sniper
July 23rd 2012


19075 Comments


this band sucks hard

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2012


4503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've had several people (mostly high schoolers) come over to my record store and always want to talk about this band. I've yet to even listen to anything they've made, but I'm very curious to hear their music.

ILJ
July 23rd 2012


6941 Comments


People hyped this up to me and I listened to it once, and it was terrible. This was quite a while ago, so who knows, my mind might change, but I gotta be honest, I really hated it.

Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

PW: These guys are like Odd Future I guess, I don't think they live up to the hype (although I have to

listen to Contra before I judge). But they ARE a band worth listening to, it's very cool stuff most of

the time imo, very calculated.



ILJAJLM and sniper01: What particularly bothered you that much? I had a moderately positive reaction

to this, but I thought of it as quite inoffensive - i.e those who dislike it probably won't HATE it.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2012


4503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ive been hearing some stuff on youtube and they sound good. Apparently this album is in Rolling Stone's latest "500 greatest" list.



Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, Rolling Stone has always been known to go too far.. -.-

Wombat988
July 23rd 2012


410 Comments


I quite liked the album, the review summary is perfect

omnipanzer
July 23rd 2012


21825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album, not sure why you focused on the elements you did (classism). I think this is a great

album from a great band and don't feel it is front loaded at all. I'm also curios about a lot of the

presumptions you make but you explained your feelings about the album well.



Honestly it has just always sounded to me like it was written by a bunch of collage kids with first world problems and I'm still not sure I'm wrong.



POS

Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wombat988: A POS would be greatly appreciated if you like the review!



omnipanzer: I don't really have an issue with the class thing at all, I did feel that a lot of the lyrics sounded like someone affluent speaking. But as you said, these are college kids talking about the problems that they face, so I can still appreciate it.

Besides, I also focused on the 'rich kids' thing for a bit of light humour.



A review for Contra should be up soon!

omnipanzer
July 23rd 2012


21825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I understand, you just focused on it so much that it sound like you have an axe to grind although your rating is higher that I would have guessed considering the review.

Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I may have overdone it just a little bit.. I did like the album overall though, very much so.



I've listened to some of Contra, and so far so bad! I actually find it a bit irritating, and I can't even place the reason why

omnipanzer
July 23rd 2012


21825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmm, I actually find them to be pretty equal. Like they really could have been released as a single 2 disk album and I would not have found one part to be any better or worse than the other.

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 23rd 2012


4853 Comments


I've always liked the album closer but I haven't heard anything else.

Marzuki
July 23rd 2012


29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's just it! They're actually pretty similiar, but there's something with Contra which just isn't

working for me.



I don't know, maybe I'll change my mind eventually, or actually figure out why I dislike it. I've very

rarely disliked music without knowing why!



LAAC: The last one isn't the best song here, so you should like this album!

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2012


56422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fun album



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