Monday, January 18, 2010

Vampire Weekend - Contra

Strong as Titanium

Know any other album that starts with a song about drinking a specialty Mexican drink? Not too many I suspect. Vampire Weekend’s second album opener ‘Horchata’ is the start of a fascinating and unique trip through the wonderful world of music. VM’s much anticipated second album ‘Contra’ does not disappoint for one second.

As on the first album the music on this one is at times sparse, but without ever seeming to miss anything. It makes the album feels like titanium: light but structurally very sound.

It’s a little too easy to name Paul Simon’s “Graceland” as the biggest influence, the quartet obviously takes the same African hints but makes it into it’s own unique style of ivy league rock. Keyboards abound, but never sounding to 80ish, weird African-like rhythms (California English) but always staying true to their own style. Music that is not your standard every day indie fare with lyrics that are different, but not so poetic that half of the time you have no clue what the singer is really singing about.

Another strong point is the length of the album, clocking in at less than 37 minutes. You can’t bored because it won’t last too lang. Where the Clash’s “Sandanista” is ruined by it’s 3 LP, length, you can play ‘Contra’ over and over again.

Sophomore slump? Not in the slightest, though lacking the freshness of the first album the new decade has started off strong with ‘Contra’, keeping alive the strong streak of great albums opening the year.

Rating: 4,5
Best Songs: White Sky, Cousins, Diplomat’s Son

MTV has a nice unplugged session with songs from both albums

The entire album is streamed on their MySpace page:

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