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Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend

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iTunes Review

Ok, this might be a new one. Take one part chamber pop (violins, harpsichord, polyphonic arrangements), a dash of ‘80s new-wave/reggae beats (The Police, Talking Heads, English Beat), and the twinkle and pop of African hi-life guitars and drumming. the result is a band who is gleefully making distinctive-sounding pop music with clever lyrics, the pulse of which happens to come from a few global sources near and dear to the musicians’ hearts. Why not take Afro-pop and reggae and blend it with white boy dance pop? David Bryne doesn’t own the patent!  “Mansard Roof,” “Oxford Comma,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and “A-Punk” are standouts, bubbly and playful and irresistibly twitchy. Others, such as “I Stand Corrected” and “Campus,” are a bit more restrained, and feel more mature and original. Vampire Weekend built up a buzz on the internet before releasing this debut collection, and now must live up to the scrutiny that inevitably follows the build-up. While backlash is always part of the process, this release should hold up just fine.

Customer Reviews

The best so far of 2008

GRADE: A- (90.45%) Nowadays bands looking to break into the ever so popular scene of indie music, get a large boost from the many indie music blogs out on the mainstream. Vampire Weekend was one of those bands that used their strong indie fanbase from the blogs, to propel their career into a very successful, and strong, debut album. Vampire Weekend first got together in 2006 and within months they had gotten attention from some lesser known African music blogs, but achieved their first step towards success by being proclaimed a "Band to Watch" by possibly the most famous of the indie blog, Stereogum. This promotion led to an anxious 8 months from indie fans, who were for the most part not disappointed with what the New Yorkers from Columbia University put out. Vampire Weekend creates a sound that has never been truly heard before, by combining popular African music beats with the more well-known indie pop sound, in a genre they call "Upper West Side Soweto". Think of their sound as The Shins mixed with The Strokes and Bob Marley, with classical African beats added in. The band, led by lead singer Ezra Koenig, creates a unique sound that really adds to their appeal. TRACK BY TRACK: 1. "Mansard Roof" (9.0/10)- The album's first single has a very laid back feel to it, giving the listener a strong taste of what to hear later in the album. Strong vocals and a cool keyboard part in the middle make this so strong. 2. "Oxford Comma" (9.5/10)- I guess, as the lyrics suggest, Koenig didn't enjoy grammar class at Columbia, as he states, but this song is another great one with simple, but catchy guitar and keyboard riffs, and a great reference to Lil' Jon. 3. "A-Punk" (8.0/10)- Evident by the title, "A-Punk" is the most punk rock song on the album, but still returns to their Vampire Weekend roots. This has been released as the 2nd single. 4. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (10/10)- As of right now, this is the best song of the year by a long shot. Absolutely perfect in every way! 5. "M79" (8.6/10)- This actually broadens their genre repetoire be adding some Irish Folk into the mix. Very catchy vocals, and an incredible bass riff. 6. "Campus" (8.2/10)- This song has gotten a tone of praise everywhere else I've read, but I actually think it's one of the weakest on the album. Still a very good song, but Ezra's vocals do not seem to shine as much in this one. 7. "Bryn" (8.8/10)- Solid, short love song. Not bad, but definately not as catchy or dynamic as some of the other tracks, especially since it is barely more than 2:00. 8. "One (Blake's Got a New Face" (9.2/10)- Very, very good, catchy song, but consider yourself warned. The chorus definately may get annoying after a while. 9. "I Stand Corrected" (9.0/10)- Sort of a different, more mainstream sound from them. Almost sounds like britpop at times. Very cute, simple song though. 10. "Walcott" (9.4/10)- I love all the New England references in the lyrics, and the background keyboard part is outstanding. 11. "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" (9.8/10)- What a great way to end the album. Definately one of the best on the album.

These Vampires Got Bite!

I love this album. I cannot say it enough--it's amazing. Their sound is funky, fresh, and takes a little getting used too, but it's worth it. These guys were first introduced to me by Teen Vogue and I've been in love ever since I looked them up. Their sound is kinda African, kinda techno, kinda experimental, but not... it's basically just amazing. This is an album you must download, but if you cannot/don't want to, I recommend the following tracks: Oxford Comma- my favorite on the album A-Punk- it's funky Walcott- upbeat and fun to dance to One (Blike's Got A New Face)- the lyrics are amazing Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa- it takes awhile to understand what they're saying, but when you do, it's amazing. So, what are you waiting for? Click 'buy album' now!

WE'VE NEEDED THIS, WORLD

It's all about the hints of ska - in the symbol crashes, in some drum beats, in some harmonies. Listen for it. Good job, guys. It's like a new crazy flavor of ice cream that you never realized has been your favorite your whole life. I'm grateful. I'm so grateful.

Biography

Formed: 2006 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Describing their sound as "Upper West Side Soweto," New York City's Vampire Weekend mix preppy, well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms. Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University. Taking their name from a movie Koenig made during his freshman year, the band started out by playing gigs at the university's literary societies and at parties. Word spread...
Full Bio

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