US - New York - Full Moon 164 - 01/30/10
XL Recordings / Playground
Where other albums on this full moon menu would warm the soul - it should be no surprise that Vampire Weekend with their just released sophomore album, Contra, is here in the cold and dark winter time to warm our bodies as well. The New York quartet Vampire Weekend is now on the Contra album pretty much working further on developing their innovative, colourful and catchy recipe. The tunes will make you smile, dance and feel the joy of a total different time of the year. Whether Ezra Koenig's lyrics will add a slightly 'other' feeling to the album, would require some more listening and interpretation. it's a nice and easy-to-like album at first listening, but expect the album to grow -- and to reveal some secrets over time.
From the opening track, "Horchata" (which by the way is a traditional Mexican beverage made with rice), we are taken on a feel-good journey, where synth-pop, calypso rhythms, afro-pop, ska and a dash of Paul Simon fuses into a nice indie-rock album (whatever, of course, that is these days). Contra is what the designers (and marketing) people of United Colors of Benetton could have come up with - if they were great musicians and their Friday-beer had included some really stiff gin-tonics. Or: Contra could have been the 'musical brother' of a clothes collection from the designers of a cooler/more hip brand, say, Moods of Norway. The album includes great songs as the tongue-twisting "California English", the catchy "White Sky", or the released as single "Cousins". The album ends with the more reflected and melancholic lyrics of "I think Ur a Contra" - maybe showing another side of the band. But instead of trying to pick songs from this album as favourites, it's better to listen to the 10 track just over 30 minutes album in its entirety.
For the fans of their debut album, rest assured that you will hear a lot of this album throughout the spring and summer on radio and wherever you go, and for those who find Vampire Weekend just too annoyingly colourful, you'd better tune your radio on a safe channel.
Trivia: Vampire Weekend's name is taken from lead singer Ezra Koenig's amateur film of the same name
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