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Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

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Genre: World Music / Artist: Vampire Weekend / Explicit Lyrics / Audio CD released 2008-01-28 at Xl

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      22.03.2012 10:57
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      A unique sound, which became surprisingly popular

      Vampire Weekend is the 2008 debut album from the American indie band of the same name. The album's distinctive 'Polaroid' cover art was taken from one of the band's earlier gigs at Columbia University. The album has a distinctive sound, relying heavily on percussion and wind instruments. There is a definite African influence, in terms of both the lyrics and the musical styling.

      There were four singles released from this album, the first single, 'Mansard Roof' has a summery feeling to it and at just over two minutes long, it moves along at a fast pace towards a frenetic conclusion. There is a carnival feeling to this song, which makes it perfect to play whilst outside in that first week of the summer holidays.

      'A-Punk', the second single, gained the most notoriety in the UK, making it to Number 1 on the indie chart. The song has also been used commercially in TV shows like The Inbetweeners. This was the song to prompt me to pick up the full album and although the rest of the songs are different in tone, this is still a great introduction to the band.

      The third single, 'Oxford Comma' has a more formulaic beat and focuses more the lyrics rather than changing tempo. It's very catchy, with the repetitive chorus and beat. Longer than the previous singles, it eventually reaches a paceier climax.

      The final single from this album, 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa', sounds more African than the other songs, due to the beats. It is the most laid back of the singles, with no real acceleration to the song. The lyrics are fun and the repetition makes it very catchy, much like Oxford Comma, especially the line referencing Peter Gabriel. Unfortunately this song failed to chart highly in the UK chart, peaking at # 178.

      Out of the eleven songs, there are no real weaknesses, although there are elements of sameness in some of the tunes. I would recommend this album as an accompaniment to a summer holiday, as it evokes that relaxing mood and atmosphere. I also recommend 'Walcott', which wasn't released as a single, as it has a really enthusiastic beat which gets you feeling really pumped up, but ultimately, the best song on the album is their most popular, 'A-Punk'.

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      30.10.2011 21:53
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      Well worth a listen

      Vampire Weekend have been around since 2006 however this was the album that launched their success in the UK and they also proved a hit on the festival scene as well with their quirky energetic stage performances.

      Their musical style is a little hard to define, they seem to combine some quaint simple sounds with crystal clear lyrics and perky complicated constructions of differing sounds that combine well with their preppy boy next door appearance. Mansard Roof the opening track to the album has a strange sound running through it possibly provided by a harpsicord but I may be wrong, it is a pleasant enough track but not as good as the excellent Oxford Comma with the high pitched variations of lead vocalist Ezra Koenig blending in with a synth driven back beat and simple drum repetition, mid way through is a nice melodic guitar solo.

      Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa feels like a Paul Simon track (even though Peter Gabriels' name crops up in the lyrics) in the way that it blends African beats with western vocals, there is a real fifties feel to this song in the way that it is presented or maybe that is just how I saw it from the point of view of the video. A Punk is one of the hits from the album and is a real upbeat song with a great sound to it as well.

      Overall this is a lovely melodic blend of songs that have a summer feel to them. There is not really a weak track on the album however if I do have one slight criticism is that a couple of the songs sort of blend into each other and the album could maybe do with a slow track to break up the generally quirky and complicated arrangements. Having said that this is a good album and they are a band that are well worth checking out.

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      10.05.2011 18:51

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      This is definitely a great album from Vampire Weekend. Buy if you're a fan.

      This is the album that made me a fan of Indie music. It all started with the release of "A-Punk", which is likely the most popular track of the album. I found myself to be mesmerized and amazed that this new band from New York City could captivate me so much. I was so intrigued with this album that I listened to it over and over again. So much so that it's songs are among the most played in my iTunes. I also liked that the guys took a risk by making their first album self-titled.
      It is my belief that Vampire Weekend had a lot of room to grow as a band while recording this record. They still have a lot of room to grow. Like most Indie bands, they struggled to stay relevant, but they persevered and gained commercial success with "A-Punk". They were able to make people like me into fans of not only their music, but their genre, and be able to support the independent music spirit.
      The album itself is definitely worth a listen. If you're a fan of alternative, indie, or just new music, you'll like this album. It has something for everyone in the way that it builds on the use of classical instruments, such as violins, and is able to incorporate voice, bass, guitar, and drums. It's the building blocks for a great album from a great band.

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      19.07.2009 20:51
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      Good album.

      Vampire Weekend. An American band formed in 2006 to label XL recordings. The name of the band comes from a film by Ezra Koenig (also the lead vocalist, guitarist and pianist)


      The album is exiting. Personally, when i listened to it for the first time, i was excited. If it was the fact that i had 'oxford comma' stuck in my head for about a month before listening to the album or other reasons unknown, i was expecting great things.


      The album has a definate character and style. The little flickering lead guitar, edging its way into songs and the stuttery piano, coming in and out. The drumming is suitable and has a nice sound to it. The songs sound light, soft hearted, intended not to make a political statement (some other bands have done this). The songs are happy and take you away to a different style of music you are normally hearing on the radio day in day out.


      The first song 'Mansard Roof' provides a great start to the album, giving a suitable intro. It gives you an impression to what is to come. The songs dont sound like they were made in the 21st century. They sound older, much older. But with a modern twist. I cannot describe the blend of genres and characters in the song fully, because you just have to hear it for yourself. Its a really nice sound they have going on.


      Who gives a **** about an oxford comma? I've seen those English drama's too. The lyrics in Oxford Comma are irreplacable. They really have the power to make you smile. The song is so memorable, as i mentioned before, beware. The song will stick in your head. For ages. This may be a good thing. The song has a great keyboard part and the drums are distinctive.


      A-Punk. The 3rd song on the album comes on and as the 2nd, it is extremely catchy and will stay in your head just as much as Oxford Comma. This song has a great riff played by the lead guitar. The bridges leading into the choruses remind me of being underwater (on their video they play around with pretend fish stuck to their fingers- look it up to see what i mean if you like). The song has many twists and the chorus is an especially good part of the song.


      Other notable songs are M79, sounding as if you could dance to it at a formal 18th century get together in the english countryside towards the start of the song. The vocals in this song are performed very well.


      One (Blake's got a new face) makes me laugh and want to join in with the funky basslines and catchy lyrics. The vocals are very well performed, the backing vocals add an interesting touch to the album.


      Track Listing:
      1. "Mansard Roof"
      2. "Oxford Comma"
      3. "A-Punk"
      4. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"
      5. "M79"
      6. "Campus"
      7. "Bryn"
      8. "One
      9. "I Stand Corrected"
      10. "Walcott"
      11. "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance"




      Overall the album is an interesting break from modern music and gives an alternative to anything you will have heard. The songs in their own right are catchy and light hearted. I hope their next album is as good as this (if they do one)

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        19.05.2009 23:06
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        A hugely promising debut album

        Apparently, the greatest possible crime within the realms of popular music is 'being a bit clever'. Isn't this a bit odd?

        I mean, surely there are many far greater potential transgressions? 'Giving James Blunt a career' for instance, or perhaps 'putting Ben Elton in a position where he could claim he'd written a hit West End musical'? Or, on an entirely different scale, 'never mind allowing Simon Cowell to become rich to an unimaginable degree, letting the ghastly wedgie-as-a-fashion-statement git continue living was too charitable by half'? But no, heaven forbid that you dare to display a bit of education or deep thought.

        ** 'For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you are a wise man...' **

        For rock and pop have always had a sizeable self-interested crowd wishing to portray them as the working man's music, and as such only allowed to be earthy, dirty, simplistic and dumb. Such an outlook manages the considerable trick of both alienating the thinking classes (whoever they are) and insulting that same working man, implying his incarnation of the human condition surfs a never-ending wave of Neanderthal relationships, lager and terrible English. Upon such foundations have Oasis built an entire career, and such was the way with Britpop that most of the clever protagonists had to pretend to be thick to gain a market foothold. Looking further back, the witty and literate (and occasionally pretentious, I'll admit) such as Steely Dan, Scritti Politti and Prefab Sprout were doomed to cultdom no matter how accessible they lowered themselves to sounding.

        (Of course you can go too far the other way, and overemphasise how educated you are. Everyone giggled (a rarity, given the artist concerned) when Lou Reed tried to musically adapt Poe's 'The Raven', but at least it sounded like Laughing Lou was being sincere: there are always been bands who fervently want to SOUND like they're clever even when they aren't. Just because I'm hurting doesn't mean I'm hurt. Yes it does Chris...that's what 'hurting' means. And that's without lighting the touchpaper labelled 'Alanis' and 'Ironic').

        But if you're American, there's always been a way of legitimising being in a band and having still been in full-time education past the age of 18. Move to New York...it worked for the Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Television and their ilk.

        And now Vampire Weekend: a quartet who met while studying at Columbia University. Naming themselves after an amateur film made by their singer/distinctly unshowy guitarist Ezra Koenig, they cut an almost painfully preppy dash, and crucially never decided to downplay who they were and where they were coming from: instead, they decided to have some fun with it. The rhythm section of bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson sounded infused with the spirit of the 80s World music explosion (or at least with the spirit of the Western artists who nicked the sound), and second songwriter, producer and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij carefully dolloped a baroque sauce (flute, harpsichord, chamberlin) of sonics over the top. This, obviously, had the potential to be the most ungodly mess. And yet...
        Having put together a very highly regarded demo CD-R the band gradually recorded their debut album while holding down full-time jobs: this is the kind of sensible careerist approach one would expect from Ivy League graduates, rather than the insertion of multiple eggs into single baskets tactic favoured by most acts. Having buffed those basic tracks to a satisfactory sheen (and becoming the first band ever to be photographed for the front of Spin Magazine before their debut album had even come out), they were probably pleasantly surprised to discover a sizeable audience ready to give their self-dubbed 'Upper West Side Soweto' sound a chance.

        ** 'I never drink...wine. Other than Château Margaux' **

        1) Mansard Roof - There's an old quote of indeterminate origin...'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture'. This was first said by Elvis Costello. Or Frank Zappa. Or Miles Davis. Or Immanuel Kant. Or Steve Martin. Or someone else. Whatever. Regardless, this song gives me the chance to do one while the listener can do the other, what with a mansard roof being a two-tiered arrangement designed to maximise a house's attic space (what with the band coming from the sorts of families whose houses have attics, and basements, and boathouses). Starting with an entirely representative keyboard flute sound and chamber strings, soon we're on a profoundly catchy clopping cavalry charge towards the decimated Argentine navy that star in the rest of the verse. One realises very quickly that it's sensible not to look TOO hard for literal meaning in the lyrics: sometimes one should just enjoy the sound of the words without the fretful worry that songs should be about, y'know, STUFF (and before any Oasis fans start using it, that logic doesn't work for Noel Gallagher, because his words manage to be both clunky AND meaningless).

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlgNFwoApec

        2) Oxford Comma - A tick-tock rhythm sounding for all the world like an advancing army of slightly limping toy soldiers beckons us into a charmingly profane ditty which may or may not be about grammatical fascism (although Koenig has said it 'is more about not giving a f*** than about Oxford commas'). This is the band's biggest UK hit single to date, and is probably the track most likely to hook the tyro: the flute keyboard (all single notes) is perfect texturally, and the guitar solo in the middle manages to be both utterly studied (and completely guileless) at the same time. Clean, concise, and excellent (did you see what I did there?). Beautifully done 'single shot' promo video too.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g&feature=channel

        3) A-Punk - Quite the most frantic and calculatingly 'catchy' track on the album, with a deeply jangly guitar lick and breathlessly declaimed vocals propelling the verse towards a breakdown of even more flute keyboard and some thumping drum rolls: the classic 'loud quiet loud' trick. Despite this it's still one of the less memorable tracks, being a bit too excited to allow its hooks to properly sink in. Which isn't to say it isn't a good song: the riotously free-associative lyrics ('turquoise harmonicas', anyone? They should have mentioned John Lydon though: he used to be 'a punk' after all. Y'know, before those butter ads) and lovely bridge see to that. But the record's more durable pleasures lie elsewhere.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XC2mqcMMGQ&feature=channel

        4) Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - ...which might be more appropriately titled 'You Can Call Me Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa On The Soles Of Their Shoes', given the level of larceny being committed towards 'Graceland'-era Paul Simon (which, given the level of larceny he committed towards previous explorers of African music, seems entirely fair). Wisely, the song embraces its cultural theft, and the riot of guitar/bongo (percussion rather than straight rock drumming on this track: it's a very percussive record) call-and-response and bouncy underpinning bassline is welded to a lyric depicting the influence of the native cultures on the WASP lifestyle. Cracking stuff, and no mistake.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wHl9qRsMzw&feature=channel

        5) M79 - Sledgehammer baroque of the sort you could imagine being written by the bratty younger brother of Michael Nyman if he were the sort of lad who professed to hate his older sibling while secretly wanting desperately to impress him. It's hugely entertaining and almost classically catchy, as slight variations on the same little motif are hammered out by both harpsichord and chamber strings (even if it does, as the bloke in the Guardian pointed out, sound a lot like the theme to 'Ski Sunday'). It's actually about a Manhattan bus route (even though there are galaxies and grenade launchers called M79: I had to look the latter up, in case you were worried) but still finds time for a lovely middle-eight of soaring strings and a sensible exhortation to 'charm your way across the Khyber Pass'. Well, it was good enough for the Carry On team.

        6) Campus - Having spent five songs semi-flaunting their education, finally the band place us in the world of professors, student digs and feigned indifference. Almost everyone who's ever been through higher learning will empathise with the eternal struggle of getting up in the morning, the half-awake slouch across campus, and the nobly doomed attempt to ignore the fellow-student that you still really like but who gave you the cold shoulder. It's a track that doesn't have to rely on its lyric to tell the tale, as the briskly walked verse is brought to a shudderingly emphasised halt by a chorus dealing with the moment the singer clocks the object of his affections. How am I supposed to pretend I never want to see you again?

        7) Bryn - Starting off like the unholy union of a Viennese waltz and a Flatley-esque Irish jig (why oh why did his 'Feet of Flames' show never actually deliver what its title literally promised? Hand me the turps and the lighter), this soon retreats to be one of the lower-key offerings on the record. This isn't a bad thing: this is what stops 'proper' albums sounding like Greatest Hits compilations. Aside from the guitar/string motif mentioned, this is a very midtempo organ and drum song of longing, either literal (for a person) or metaphorical (for a time or place but calling it 'Bryn'). Or neither.

        8) One (Blake's Got A New Face) - Unfortunately this song doesn't relate the tale of Amy Winehouse's ghastly husband getting so badly beaten up in jail that he needs revolutionary cosmetic surgery (nor indeed is it a reference to his IQ), but it does signal the album gathering itself for a sprint finish: from hereon in all the tracks are excellent. A quartet of juddering, descending guitar licks leads into a cracking song with both a call-and-response chorus (one of few VW songs that lend themselves to an obvious crowd singalong) and call-and-response percussion/keyboards (of a fashion). Kudos too for the casual use of the word 'collegiate' at the denouement: to think that Noel Gallagher once claimed that calling a song 'Acquiesce' constituted erudition and eclecticism. The sound of an affluent summer in New England, one suspects.

        9) I Stand Corrected - Starting almost hymnally (which should be a word, even if it isn't) before warming up to a gorgeous lament, this dispenses with the guitar completely. Instead the drums get the most tender thumping possible, the strings get all reverent, and the keyboards burble away in a
        somnambulant three-in-the-morning fashion. Koenig's plaintive croon suggests a protagonist begging for forgiveness, until a proper scanning of the lyrics suggests he's actually deploying the classic male tactic of apologising in a manner so submissive as to be sarcastic.

        You've been checking on my facts
        And I admit I have been lax
        In double-screening what I say...

        'No one cares when you are wrong.'... Point-scoring disguised as penitence. Dammit that most women can see through it, eh?

        10) Walcott - The band's enormously addictive traditional set-closer is a proper piano-pounding foot-stomper coming with the ultimate seal of approval: it's currently my mobile ringtone. Welded to some huge, ballroom-in-the-Overlook-Hotel-in-'The Shining' drums, the band drive a horse and carriage right through the middle of the Cape Cod social scene, complete with foul-mouthed insults that manage to be both gleeful and restrained at the same time. Exactly how tongue-in-cheek it is only becomes apparent with a bit of research: Hyannisport is a ghetto apparently, despite there being squillions of opulent yachts in the harbour and four generations of the Kennedy family having lived there. Probably best not to accept any lifts home from parties there without checking the lineage of the driver, then.

        11) The Kids Don't Stand A Chance - The album ends with a languid corker of a song, mostly Koenig's vocal backed by tribal drums and bass, but with some wonderfully incongruous counterpointing baroque keyboard and guitar: basically, it's the album in microcosm. The percussion sounds vast again, like it was recorded in the Houston Astrodome by Animal from 'The Muppet Show' on downers, Ezra Koenig gradually achieves the most lovely childlike falsetto, and the track climaxes in the most perfectly judged of instrumental fade-outs.

        And so, after 34 minutes we all feel cleverer and more metropolitan than when we started. Smashing.

        ** 'One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach...' **

        It's rare for an act to arrive quite as fully formed as Vampire Weekend: usually there's the interesting period where the band obviously don't really know what they're doing (when they do their best stuff) before professionalism and experience (and only having enough ideas for one album) grind the life out of them. The record really sounds great, but not in a this-week's-fashion way: Koenig's guitar is clean and thin, just like David Byrne's was in early Talking Heads, the keyboards are fun and daft, and the drums are often incredible. It's complex but never cluttered, so you can properly hear everything (a rarity these days), and you get a definite sense of the spaces in which the music was recorded.

        Thought has obviously gone into it, but it's not been over-thought to the point of sterility, and it plays its smartness straight while playing its smart-arsedness for laughs. It's short, it's concise, and, crucially, it never ever forgets to be 'pop'.

        Highly recommended. Now watch them go and bugger up the second...sorry, 'sophomore' album. Here's hoping they don't go all Holden Caulfield on us if they do.

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          18.04.2009 13:25
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          An interesting adventerous albumj

          I might be a bit of a Brit pop babe and really love my quirky, little known Scottish indie bands but lately I have been seeking inspiration from across the pond. Recently there have been a number of bands from the good old US of A that have impressed me such as the Hold steady, The Gaslight Anthem and the subject of this review Vampire Weekend .
          Vampire Weekend are a quartet that hail from New York state and released their eponymous debut album in 2008. I discovered them when their catchy single "Oxford Comma" was played extensively on XFM. Their name may suggest a goth or emo band but they are far from this. There are certainly no overwrought, gloomy dark lyrics here. Vampire Weekend are far from generic and sound unlike any indie or alternative band I know of combining African percussion rhythms ala Paul Simon on the "Rhythm of the Saints "hints of Western classical music and a singer Ezra Koenig who often has a touch of Sting's falsetto to his vocal.


          First up we have a song named after an architectural feature. Mansard Roof sounds slightly vintage (but I'm not sure which vintage) to start. My mind thinks a Spanish Harlem Calypso style song sung by Sting that gradually develops to encompass a galloping drumbeat mixed with sweet violins and perhaps a vibraphone or some other instrument climaxing in a sudden ending. It's a shame this little gem is not longer clocking in at just over two minutes.
          From architecture we leap into the realms of punctuation with the song that introduced me to Vampire Weekend. " Oxford Comma"is a catchy , upbeat song about an over serious, pedantic pretentious college girl. The introduction again is memorable with percussion sounds like a clock ticking and a hint of Ben E King's "Stand By Me". The vocals are less Sting like but have little mini yodels at the end of sentences. Its quite endearing. I love the lyric" All your diction dripping with disdain" with its harsh alliteration. Again as he track goes on it speeds up to a gallop with a wonderful retro Hawaiian guitar solo. Be warned the lyric does contain the F word for those easily offended.

          A Punk is the most recent single off the album and perhaps the most immediate, conventional and accessible song on the album. Its another upbeat song with a reggae feel,, with quieter flute and and strings interludes, some great heys and a funky bass line. I like it a lot.
          The 80s revival seems to be very fashionable in indie circles. Whilst Editors and White Lies mimic uber cool Joy Division and retro synths seem o beasll the rage/ Vampire Weekend go for totally different 80s artists to influence their work . Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa is a song about the falseness of some people who are into world music. The guitar and percussion is blended in a rhythm thats very reminiscent of Paul Simon's "Rhythm of the Saints" and at the times the vocal even reminds me of Paul Simon when it does not slip back into Sting. The unfashionable 80s trinity is complete with a reference to he of Sledgehammer and Salisbury Hill fame Peter Gabriel himself. "It feels so unnatural Peter Gabriel too" Its quite a laid back number that is fairly catchy.

          Have I got the right CD on? M79's introduction with its violins and harpsichord reminds me of the theme tune to the "Horse of the Year Show or is it Ski Sunday" with a classical style introduction. This morphs into a jaunty number with percussion to math. I like the woahs bit I think the opening couplet "It's going to take a little time While you're waiting like a factory line" sounds a bit lame.
          Campus is a song about avoiding an ex when its not so easy to do so. "You're walking cross the campus. .. How am I supposed to pretend I never want to see you again?" . Its a much simpler. more straight forward rock and roll, song with a great double bass riff. Its a refreshing change after some of the more complex musical arrangements.

          We turn to Celtic influences for Bryn due to the folky violin introduction that repeats throughout the track. A choppy percussion track supports the slightly laid back vocal which is low on th Stingometer. I find the lyrics are less catchy than some of the other tracks.
          We do seem to be racing through the genres here. One (Blake's Got A New Face) has more Sting falsetto but has an electro feel to it with synthesizers and more rhythmic drumming and a quite endearing peroop sounds. The lyric "Blake's got a new face" is very memorable due to it being repeated a number of times. I Stand Corrected starts off at a slower pace with a very clear vocal that picks up the pace after the first verse Luckily its a less Stingy sounding song!.

          Walcott seems to be about a journey through New England down to New Jersey with references to various east coast places. I really like this musically. It starts off with a fabulous rolling rolling piano introduction with clanging cymbals and a hint of rock and roll via the electric guitar. The tempo changes to a slower rhythm with a really nice bit of cello in the background. Again its not catchy lyrically but the tempo changes make it interesting.
          Its the final track "Kids Don't Stand A Chance" and we are back to a strong hint of Sting. Its made even more Police like with the first section having a slow laid back reggae vibe to it. In other sections there is a more classical feel with a violin and harpsichord and the vocal is softer and sweeter bringing a calming ending to the album.

          One of my main gripes with lyrics booklets is that often the designer is being too clever and the lyrics are hard to read ,as the font is either too small or too fancy. I like the booklet , as the lyrics are written in bold , decent sized print.
          I like Vampire Weekend's eponymous debut album as a whole. Its an adventurous, risk taking sound drawing its influences from many genres. I am particularity impressed with the level of instrumentation and musical arrangements especially in the percussion and string sections. Its not an immediate album chock full of singles and thus might not appeal instantly if you have only heard A Punk but its certainly a grower if you give it the chance. Just don't buy it if your not a fan of Sting's falsetto!

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            13.09.2008 18:01
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            go and get this album right now!! its fantastic, and not one to be missed

            Spine tingling brilliance is the core to this one.

            I was reading NME the other day, an interview with vampire weekend. It was saying how some people find it outrageous that a group of upper class white americans have managed to get away with stealing the sound of africa and used it as their own.

            Balls to them. These guys have managed to recreate a sound that was dead in modern western classical music, and i don't care who they are, hats off to them for doing that.

            This is one of my favourite albums of the year: its simplistic feel is so sweet, however on further inspection i find it possible to really appreciate the genius writing of this group.

            In the NME interview too, they were saying how they rarely drink whilst making music, because they feel it would take something away from the music. Its that sort of thing that is rare today, and thats what makes these guys so special- they are truely one of a kind.

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              09.08.2008 22:25
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              Good but not great

              This band were hyped to the moon. They were supposed to be the new arcade fire, or something like that. It's very hard to live up to that amount of hype without falling short, and i'm afraid that with their debut album vampire weekend do just that.

              Which isn't to say it's not good. It is. It's probably also a bit too smug about how good it is, and it doesn't live up to that smugness.

              The singles are excellent. Oxford Comma and A-punk are probably the best tracks on the album. What's so exciting about the band is their playfulness with afro- caribbean rhythms and sixties psychedelia. And they can hold a tune, and the singers got a good presence, and they're from New York, which should add some instant cool.

              The music is singalong and danceable, but it never really reaches your soul (as opposed to your lungs and feet)

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                03.08.2008 20:25
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                Good debut, full of a lot of potential for bigger and better things

                Vampire Weekend are an up and coming four piece band from New York. Their debut album, "Vampire Weekend" has been a hit both the indie and the mainstream circuit, reaching number 11 in the UK Album charts.

                *Track Listing*
                1 Mansard Roof
                2 Oxford Comma
                3 A-Punk
                4 Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
                5 M79
                6 Campus
                7 Bryn
                8 One (Blake's Got A New Face)
                9 I Stand Corrected
                10 Walcott
                11 Kids Don't Stand A Chance

                The most unfortunate thing about this album is that it packs all four of its singles into the first four slots on the album, so there is no familiarity at the end of the album, which means a lot of people listen to the four singles and then turn it off. However, if possible, listening to it all the way through is brilliant, especially with the closing number "Kids Don't Stand A Chance"

                The album starts brilliantly, immediately introducing "Mansard Roof, one of Vampire Weekend's best songs. The track is pacy, and really introduces them well.

                The second song, however, is Vampire Weekend's best song thus far by a country mile. "Oxford Comma" is one of those completely addictive songs that you will not get out of your head for weeks, and if you listen to nothing else on the album, listen to this. It really shows their potential, and is very emotive.

                "A-Punk" is much more upbeat, and addictive in its own right, as is Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, the next planned single to be released off of the album. However, it is here where the singles, planned or otherwise, stop.

                The next song will, hopefully, have a few people listening to it who forgot to turn over to another album, as it is fantastic. "M79" is slower than some of the other tracks, but it is charming and quirky in its own way, and definitely worth a listen.

                Campus is a weak point to begin with, but if you can make it past the bland opening, it does eventually come good. The same cannot be said of Bryn, which stays the same bland music all the way through.

                "Blake's Got A New Face" is one of those weird songs that shouldn't work. At all. But somehow, it is very charming and relaxing, and if you get to go and see them live, it is a very fun song to sing at a concert.

                As much as I hate to admit it, I've only listened to "I stand Corrected" once before, and I have never listened to "Walcott" all the way through before now, so I am experiencing this song for the first time whilst typing this. 'Walcott' is seen by VW enthusiasts as a classic, and I can hear that its good, but it fails to appeal to me personally.

                And finally, the album's closing number - "Kids Don't Stand A Chance". It has a brilliant rhythm, a brilliant sound and a good message. It is one of the slower numbers on the album, but has a charm and grace which some of the faster numbers lose along the road. It is rhythmic and beautiful, well worth a listen.

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              • Product Details

                Disc #1 Tracklisting
                1 Mansard Roof
                2 Oxford Comma
                3 A-Punk
                4 Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
                5 M79
                6 Campus
                7 Bryn
                8 One (Blake's Got A New Face)
                9 I Stand Corrected
                10 Walcott
                11 Kids Don't Stand A Chance