Thursday, January 21, 2010

Those Smart Guys

Much has been written about Vampire Weekend - they appropriate sounds, rip off Paul Simon, revel in pretension, right conscientiously incongruous lyrics, and on and on. I did not really want to like this album that much - I liked the debut, but can't say I found it earth shattering. Sure African polyrhythms are new to indie rock, but they're not NEW. That said, they've really done something a little different on this album. Yeah, they're still writing about upper class lifestyles that sound completely ridiculous over music better suited to South Africa. But they mellowed the whole thing out...a lot.

They produced this album in California and it shows. There is sunshine all over this record. The songs are a beat slower, the snare taps fewer and further apart, more synth, and the vocals get a bit dreamier. Beats are more pulsating and lo-fi than some of the heavy, jerky, syncopation on the debut. They let themselves loose a little - particularly on the final two tracks, where it's like they take the songs for a walk and let them wander off the leash, but it works, you're with them every step. There are a few songs which recall the first album's pace and intensity - namely the single, Cousins - but it's a whole new groove here. They're adding strings, harpsichords, backup just sounds like they had fun making this. And I like it. Dammit.

Diplomat's Son is the jam. Taxi Cab is pretty sparkling as well.


Anonymous said...

The girl on the album cover is really cute

Alex said...

I discovered Vampire Weekend a few months ago...and they've been my guilty pleasure ever since.

richard said...

Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes..easy to see the profound effect that Brian Wilson has had on this next generation of music. He's killing it.