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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vampire Weekend - Contra - My Review

I’ve been listening and listening and listening to the new album from Vampire Weekend, Contra, and mulling over how I want to write about it. It’s really, really, really good. I had to warm up to their first album. At first I just didn’t get them. I grew up a huge Paul Simon fan – I even saw him in concert when I was 14 years old WITHOUT my parents – and at first listen VW sounded like some strange, young derivatives of his genius. But eventually I came to see them as being something entirely new. I still can’t really put what that "something new" is into words though. Sometimes I feel they could be described as the musical equivalent of Whit Stillman’s film Metropolitan but that’s not quite it either. Bah! I give up.

Their new album takes everything they did on their first one and punches it up tenfold while also adding in a bunch of romance and positivity. Lyrics like "I see you shine in your way, go on, go on, go on" and "Said never pick sides, never choose between two, but I just wanted you, I just wanted you" are absolutely dripping with good feelings. These good feelings are nice because the time in 2008 when I saw Vampire Weekend live they came off a little bit like elitist a-holes. At that time I didn't really care if I ever saw them live again, but with this new album my faith is restored. I'm eager to see them live! With this album they are not trying to maintain that Ivy League, Polo ad image that they projected with the first album, but despite NOT trying they are still achieving it, but not in an elitist a-hole way, but in a "Hey! This is who we ARE!" way. Does that make any sense?

Wow. I read over this and it's an awkward review. I can't corral my thoughts! Just take away this: their new album is fantastic with more fun, romance, and positivity and I really like it.

Here's their new bizarro video, guest starring a Jonas brother, Jake Gyllenhaal, and RZA (among others), for Giving Up the Gun:

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