Album Review – Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend

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I know it’s a bit early to make such a bold statement, but I’m going to make it anyway: Modern Vampires of the City is my favorite album of the summer. This is especially bold after hearing other big releases from Daft Punk and Cold War Kids.

Allow me to explain. I will admit to being a fan of Vampire Weekend since I first heard A-Punk back in 2008. Their first two albums deeply explored their roots in American Rock mixed with African beats with a sprinkling of classical influence. For their third record, I wanted more. Lucky for me, I got what I wanted.

The twelve song record doesn’t lose the Vampire Weekend flavor, rather it simply adds new dynamics that we haven’t seen before. I will use “Step” as an example. We hear the harpsichord that we know and love from them as well as a steady beat. The lyrics take a while to understand what’s going on. With lines such as “Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth/Age is an honor, it’s still not the truth/We saw the stars when they hid from the world/You cursed the sun when it stepped to your girl” It’s hard to tell that this is a really sentimental song. The song is arranged in a way that we haven’t seen much of from VW in the past.

In a recent Interview, Koening said that “Unbelievers” is “kind of felt like the perfect mix of what we do best with something new.” I like to see that my interpretation of the album is close to what they intended.

“Diane Young” is the up-tempo first single from the album. It screams Elvis and Buddy Holly with a pinch of technology peppered in. I can’t say I’m surprised that it is so popular.

I will mention that “Worship You” is a standout track. It is a fast, complex march. I would not have expected something like this from Vampire Weekend. I can see hints of this style in older tracks like “Cousins”, but this one took me by surprise.

I won’t lie to you, I could talk about this album all day. I suspect however that you, the reader do not want to hear me ramble on all day.

Bottom line: I love this album. I have spent a lot of time with it since first hearing it and I will continue to do so. I will recommend this album to just about anyone. I might not recommend it to you if you don’t like good music.

4.5/5

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