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Vampire Weekend
     

Vampire Weekend

4.4 44
by Vampire Weekend
 

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With the Internet able to build up or tear down artists almost as soon as they start practicing, the advance word and intense scrutiny doesn't always do a band any favors. By the time they've got a full-length album ready to go, the trend-spotters are already several Hot New Bands past them. Vampire Weekend started generating buzz in

Overview

With the Internet able to build up or tear down artists almost as soon as they start practicing, the advance word and intense scrutiny doesn't always do a band any favors. By the time they've got a full-length album ready to go, the trend-spotters are already several Hot New Bands past them. Vampire Weekend started generating buzz in 2006 -- not long after they formed -- but their self-titled debut album didn't arrive until early 2008. Vampire Weekend also has just a handful of songs that haven't been floating around the 'Net, which may disappoint the kind of people who like to post "First!" on message boards. This doesn't make those songs any less charming, however -- in fact, the band has spent the last year and a half making them even more charming, perfecting the culture collision of indie-, chamber-, and Afro-pop they call "Upper West Side Soweto" by making that unique hybrid of sounds feel completely effortless. So, Vampire Weekend ends up being a more or less official validation of the long-building buzz around the band, served up in packaging that uses the Futura typeface almost as stylishly as Wes Anderson. At times, the album sounds like someone trying to turn a Wes Anderson movie back into music (it's no surprise that the band's keyboardist also writes film scores); there's a similarly precious yet adventurous feel here, as well as a kindred eye and ear for detail. Everything is concise, concentrated, distilled, vivid; Vampire Weekend's world is extremely specific and meticulously crafted, and Vampire Weekend often feels like a concept album about preppy guys who grew up with classical music and recently got really into world music. Amazingly, instead of being alienating, the band's quirks are utterly winning. Scholarly grammar ("Oxford Comma") and architecture ("Mansard Roof") are springboards for songs with impulsive melodies, tricky rhythms, and syncopated basslines. Strings and harpsichords brush up against African-inspired chants on "M79," and lilting Afro-pop guitars and a skanking beat give way to Mellotrons on "A-Punk." It's a given that a band that's this high concept has hyper-literate lyrics: the singer's name is the very writerly Ezra Koenig, and you almost expect to see footnotes in the album's liner notes. Once again, though, Vampire Weekend's words are evocative instead of gimmicky. The irresistible "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" rhymes "Louis Vuitton" with "reggaeton" and "Benneton" and name-drops Peter Gabriel (though it's clear the band spent more time with Paul Simon's Graceland) without feeling contrived. "Campus" is another standout, with lines like "I see you walking across the campus...how am I supposed to pretend I never want to see you again?" throwing listeners into college life no matter what their age. Koenig has a boyish, hopeful quality to his voice that completes Vampire Weekend, especially on bittersweet but irrepressible songs like "I Stand Corrected" and album closer "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance." Fully realized debut albums like Vampire Weekend come along once in a great while, and these songs show that this band is smart, but not too smart for their own good.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Jon Pareles
Vampire Weekend’s model, musical and otherwise, is Talking Heads, who picked up rhythms from all sorts of places and never pretended to be lower-class or unintelligent.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2008
Label:
Xl Recordings
UPC:
0634904031817
catalogNumber:
40318
Rank:
6504

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vampire Weekend   Primary Artist
Jessica Pavone   Violin,Viola
Jonathan Chu   Violin,Viola
Wesley Miles   Vocals
Jeff Curtin   Shaker,Hand Drums
Rostam Batmanglij   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Harpsichord,chamberlain,Shaker,Vocal Harmony,Group Member
Chris Baio   Bass,Group Member
Hamilton Berry   Cello
Ezra Koenig   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Hand Drums,Group Member
Christopher Tomson   Guitar,Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Shane Stoneback   Engineer
Jeff Curtin   Engineer
Vampire Weekend   Composer
Rostam Batmanglij   Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,drum programming
Ezra Koenig   Composer
Annie Reeds   Cover Photo

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Vampire Weekend 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Always on a quest for new and little known artists, I like to selfishly enjoy them for a while before they become mainstream. Fortunately, for Vampire Weekend, they are on the fast track to becoming just that. This collection of songs is very catchy and upbeat, and each song flows nicely into the next. The crown jewel of this album is definitely M79 (the song that got me hooked). I recommend this CD to anyone looking for a refreshingly &quot happy&quot change of pace in music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As cold winds blow, snow and slush clog city streets and springtime seems like centuries away, an album like the debut from NYC's Vampire Weekend is a welcome burst of warm weather bliss. This CD combines reggae, Jamaican rythmns, Afro-pop and ska to create simply one of the best listening pleasures in recent memory. I am surprised at how PERFECT sounding this album truly is : a soundtrack for bikinis, beachballs, and BBQs to wipe away the winter doldrums and have you feeling happy and eager for the summer months around the bend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are only a few songs that have limited value (I Stand Corrected, One[Blakes Got a New Face]) But most of the album can be listened to over and over again. Very unique sound to it, but there are a few awkward aspects about the fusion of indie and classical. Overall a good album though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was diaspointed a couple weeks ago when I discovered this band, looked them up on itunes and rhaspsody and only discovered they had two songs, Ladies od Cambridge and Mansard Roof. I listened to them nonstop and a couple days ago I looked them up in Barnes and Noble and there was a whole album. I bought it and fell inlove. Wonderful lyrics, music, and just all around really addicting. I've given copies to my friends and they to are addicts. I've created monsters. Buy it, and you will be in love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This music is fun to listen to - refreshingly different than what you hear on the radio every day.
SamuelB88 More than 1 year ago
Vampire Weekend has quickly become one of my favorite bands. The music is fun, the lyrics are interesting, and it's not the same reheated hash. Overall, very enjoyable. Plus, if you listen to the lyrics, you might learn about grammar or architecture.
purple_ladybug1 More than 1 year ago
This was my first real foray into indie music, after a friend's recommendation. I like upbeat music, and Vampire Weekend provides it. I particularly enjoy the clever song "Oxford Comma."
Jenny_from_Brazil More than 1 year ago
When I first heard them, I immediately thought that Vampire Weekend are highly reminiscent of The Strokes and Belle & Sebastian, minus, of course, the african rhythm that is very strong in a couple of tracks. This is a type of sound that isn't very mainstream, because it appeals to a more intellectual, peripheral audience that's sick and tired of the current music scene. All in all, this album is quite refreshing!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After the ridiculous amount of hype this has acquired [a cover spot for Spin magazine before an actual album release? Clap Your Hands Say Who?], it's difficult to accurately judge the quality of this debut without bias. Difficult, but not impossible. Vampire Weekend offers up a catchy, fun blend of indie pop with Afro and world influences and tops it off with literate lyrics. However, that description sounds better than the actual music coming out of the stereo does. The tracks blend together quickly, the world influence is not entirely original, and the end result is just another indie pop record with only occassionally interesting tunes. Check this out if you want something fun, but don't expect more than that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So I heard them a few weeks ago, bought their album and went to their show. Seriously the best artists this year. The album is super hot. No joke, it's the best.
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