Vampire Weekend thinks ur a Contra!

Sophomore albums can make or break a band’s reputation—and sometimes they can even make or break the band. Too often, an artist overreaches and tries to push into radically different territory with disastrous results. Or a band can hash out the same material, sounding like a stagnant self-parody of their first album. Luckily, Vampire Weekend’s Contra manages to avoid these all-too-common trappings.

For those of you not familiar with Vampire Weekend, the band achieved mainstream success with their self-titled debut (released in January of ’08), making the T.V. rounds on shows like Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday  Night Live. Known for their idiosyncratic blend of poly-rhythms infectious melodies, the band recently released their second album, Contra, in January.

The album’s lead track, the deceptively simple-sounding “Horchata,” manages to ease you into what seems to be Vampire Weekend’s overarching aesthetic (so far): a mish-mash of African rhythms, string sections, and an otherwise somewhat minimal arrangement.  After “Horchata,” the record covers a lot of terrain, with the manic energy of lead single “Cousins,” to the heavily affected vocals of “California English,” to the comfort of a downright sweet melody in “Taxi Cab.” This album manages the difficult task of being both instantly-approachable and rewarding after repeated listens. And in the end, I’m not really sure what more I can ask of a band.

____________________________________________________________

Share this post:

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements
This entry was posted in music and tagged , , , by Nick Crosby. Bookmark the permalink.

About Nick Crosby

I have a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I currently work with LEARN, the San Diego County Library's adult literacy program. I have been proud to call San Diego my home for a combined 3.5 years. Some of my favorite activities include reading (both popular and not-so-popular stuff), listening to music, and watching my cat Stella grow fatter with each passing day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s