Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I LOATHED Vampire Weekend the first time I heard them. I listened to thirty seconds of a song and sneered "Another crappy twee-core band". They had been hyped to the high heavens at the time by hipster haven Pitchforkmedia and it was my job as an ironic post-anti-hip-stalwart to reject anything that was so popular.

Month later, I listened to the album properly and fell head over heels with their pop tune creations. It wasn't pop-punk or pop-thrash, it was pure pop and had no bones about it. They had an original organic sound that really made them stand out in the world of digitized hyper caffeinated tune mongers.

It's to be expected that their new album will be compared to their debut. Everyone is l;oves to tackle the little guy and scream "SOPHMORE SLUMP!" at the top of their lungs, especially with a band that came out of nowhere and became so poular.

Ready your eyes. Hold your breath. I'm sorry I have to say this.

CONTRA is only passable

The songs are missing the drive and sparkle of VW's debut record. We get hints of originality in tracks like "Horchata" and "Giving up the Gun" but the song never stands out overall. Gone are the thrashing guitars and energetic drums. In their place are digitized beats. Only the new single 'COUSINS' has the punch I was expecting . Perhaps I'm overacting and I should accept the band's new mellow sound, but all I can feel is disappointment. I've read online that you have to 'Let the album grow on you', but that's kind of like saying 'It's not that bad once you've accepted it." Other arguments of "Well, their first almbum was the songs they had been working on for years." doesn't work for me either. You judge the product and the product alone.

It's not terrible or embarrassing, but is the really a success?

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