This NY four-piece draw on their diverse backgrounds and interests, experimenting with African guitar music, the Western classical canon, hazy memories of Cape Cod summers, winters in upper Manhattan, and reggaeton. "Equal... more » parts shruggy New York indie strumming and groovy Afro-pop, Vampire Weekend's organ-and-drum runs highlight narratives about relationships, punctuation, and sometimes both" - Spin. Named "Hot New Kids" in Rolling Stone's "Hot" issue. Vinyl contains MP3 coupon.« less
This NY four-piece draw on their diverse backgrounds and interests, experimenting with African guitar music, the Western classical canon, hazy memories of Cape Cod summers, winters in upper Manhattan, and reggaeton. "Equal parts shruggy New York indie strumming and groovy Afro-pop, Vampire Weekend's organ-and-drum runs highlight narratives about relationships, punctuation, and sometimes both" - Spin. Named "Hot New Kids" in Rolling Stone's "Hot" issue. Vinyl contains MP3 coupon.
Ryan W. from COLLINSVILLE, IL Reviewed on 8/17/2010...
Is there any song on this cd that doesn't have bad language?
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
SMART INDIE POP FOR A WEEKEND IN CAPE COD (3.8 stars)
Cary S. Whitt | Columbus,Ohio USA | 01/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A daunting task reviewing a disc that has already been hailed by many as the first important disc of 2008. Such is the case of the debut from Vampire Weekend, 4 Columbia students gone preppy-indie to catch the eyes and ears of David Byrne, Lou Reed and aging hipsters alike.
It was a few months ago when I first read David Bryne's glowing review of their highly circulated CD-R, so naturally I was cautiously interested to say the least. Like with many other early-praised NYC bands (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Strokes, Clap Your Hands, The National, Interpol, MGMT), Vampire Weekend meet most of the expectations head on, and give us a few surprises in the process. The first of which is a pretty obvious nod to Afro-pop stylings as well as a love for Paul Simon and (naturally) later Talking Heads recordings.
The first track is the lead single, Mansard Roof (google it). A track as studious as it sounds, with tight changes, nice lyrics, and crisp melodies, a perfect pop moment that would make fans of Belle and Sebastian squeal into their book bags. The band then up the ante with Oxford Comma, again, just as collegiate friendly, but with a little more bite to it. In it they even manage to drop a well-pronounced F-bomb and make it sound like the Queen's English. The overall result is my favorite track off the disc. The song A Punk (months already on itunes) continues the impressive string of songs at three now, A Punk carries a bit more Strokes flavor to it in its brevity and faster pacing, but its pace doesn't seem foreign at all. The Paul Simon-isms finally rear their head with the track Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. I immediately think of You Can Call Me Al, with that overbearing saxophone and stop-start melody. Even though that maybe be purely unfounded, I'm pretty sure others will hear what I'm talking about. Maybe it's the worldly guitar line, or it could be the vocal stop-start of the verses? After it's all said and done, it's nothing the hipsters won't be able to swallow. M79 brings in a harpsichord sounding synth as its calling card and does so without becoming annoying. Campus is another Stroke styled stroke, right down to the melancholy and wishful tone of the lyrics and for me another one of the better songs. A few more tracks that don't quite impress as much, fill the gaps until the album's closer, The Kids Don't Stand a Chance. The track adds a little bit of reggae into the repertoire but again, it isn't enough to turn me completely off. It just somehow works for these guys, call them lucky or smart, or both.
If anything, the afro-pop, New England fashion sense (docksiders), and even the reggae, pump up the irony of this very collegiate group of boys and their appeal to fans of all types of music, especially indie music. It may be a stretch to say everyone will like some part of this record, but I found most of it pretty darn enjoyable and that in this day and age is getting more rare than not. So not a perfect record, but I'll agree with the masses in calling it the first important record in a very young 2008. Have fun trying to get into their upcoming tour, I have a feeling it's going to be quite popular"
"This is a decent little pop record, but that's all it is. Airy, sunny, afro-pop tinged melodies about nothing much at all.
Remember Haircut 100? Yeah, this is them, just a younger incarnation. Heck, they even LOOK like Haircut 100, sweaters and all.
The Strokes? Are you kidding me? This is nowhere close to the Strokes. Not even in the same universe. Some of the Paul Simon comparisons are apt, if you go back to Graceland or Rhythm of the Saints. But if you really want a parallel, all you have to do is dust off that old Haircut 100 record.
It's a shame, that people are going to be slagging this band a year from now. They neither deserve inordinate praise nor ridicule. This is simply an innocuous pop record to put on in the background while sunning in the backyard on a spring Sunday, gin and tonic close at hand.
Snappy, Bouncy, Stale
steamloaf | Leiden, Netherlands | 03/22/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Many here berate Vampire Weekend for being derivative. I take exception to this. At the end of the day, what pop act isn't?
Each of the influences cited repeatedly in these reviews--Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and David Byrne--has plenty of predecessors from whom they've borrowed plenty. So, bumming a chord progression here and a measure there is hardly a crime. It's called inspiration.
Vampire Weekend's problem is not that it borrows, but that it fails to compliment its application with a truly distinguishing signature. There's simply too little depth and it comes across more as a cover band than anything else.
On the first pass, I missed this, thinking that "Mansard Roof" was unique lyrically and that the rhythmic structure of "Oxford Comma" was interesting. Still, there was something missing. The second time through, "unique" and "interesting" yielded to "cute (in the college freshman sense)" and "gimmicky." By the third run, I no longer cared. It was already stale.
Then I stumbled upon "One (Blake's Got a New Face,)" which I found to be flat-out lame. Minimalist synth, strained vocals, Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" wrapped in a Noughties New York foil and re-served. They even went so far as to place a sub-title in parentheses. That did it for me.
So, if you're throwing a frat party and need some peppy background noise, pick-up a copy. For anyone else, listen to the Amazon streams, catch a few YouTube clips and claim with voguish pride that you've heard them. "
Indie Pop Perfection
jeff! | OH | 09/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've really had enough of people criticizing this band because of how simple and "poppy" their sound is. Creating quality, ridiculously catchy pop songs is an art in itself. These guys write infectious pop songs, and they keep things interesting musically too by adding beautiful string arrangements, synths, and quirky, creative drumming. This is a solid album that, as with any truly good album, does not necessitate the use of a "skip" button. I've listened to this record dozens of times and it still holds my interest with every listen. This band is not the most innovative indie band on the scene, but that's obviously not what they are going for. If you want music that is more unique sounding, or less accessible, or whatever, then that's fine, it is out there. This, however, is just solid, fun, catchy music that really holds up over repeated listens. This band is light years away from the run of the mill pop-rock bands out there, and they have truly established their own voice in a flooded market."