The jangly charm of Vampire Weekend

What band produces music more infested with inventive, genre-busting jangly charm than Vampire Weekend?

I posted a very positive review of their 2010 second album Contra a few months ago but now, though it is a very good album, I don’t think it quite matches up to their self-titled debut. From “Mansard Roof” to “A-Punk”, “Oxford Comma” to “Campus”, “I Stand Corrected” to the beautifully baroque-pop closer “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”, the melody, percussion, jangly guitars and perfect fusion of indie, world and classical music is something exceptional.

Of course, you might say the same thing about Contra. It builds on the tunes and is even weirder, adding speed-rap (“California English”), synthpop (“Giving Up the Gun”) and reggae (“Diplomat’s Son”) to the mix—though actually the latter two tracks are average compared to the other tracks on both albums where they stay true to their jangly, charming baroque-Afro-indie-pop identity.

There are people I know who think Vampire Weekend sound really bad and, well, I guess it all depends on your taste for weird but original music. But the earworm-tunefulness of their songs should surely make them more agreeable to everyone than, say, Everything Everything (though they are an incredibly talented bunch). And if VW aren’t to your taste, then you at least have to admit their talent.

Yep, there’s never been a band quite like Vampire Weekend.


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