Modern Vampires of the City – a quick review of the new Vampire Weekend album.

Modern Vampires of the City

I just finished listening to the new Vampire Weekend album, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s beautiful.

That’s not to say that the record doesn’t bounce at all.  The band’s style of Soweto swing is still evident in many of the tracks (“Finger Back” comes quickly to mind), and the baroque pop songs like “Step” and “Don’t Lie” will sound instantly familiar to fans.  But there are more layers and texture on these songs than anything they’ve done previously.  It’s so lush, and just so lovely.

The quieter moments, like on “Obvious Bicycle”, “Hannah Hunt”, and “Young Lion”. present some of the prettiest melodies of this band’s career.  But if you prefer to bounce, “Worship You” and “Diane Young” will offer you your opportunity.

Lyrically, this feels weightier than the band’s previous two albums.  Spirituality and getting older are prominent themes being explored here.  And the maturity of these lyrics matches what I see as maturity in the music.  Make no mistake – this is a Vampire Weekend record.  But the boys aren’t content to just simply recreate what they’ve already done (and done well).  They’re stretching out and growing up.  And, in my snap judgement opinion, they have created their best album to date.  But what’s really exciting is that it feels like they’ve got something even better still in them.  This is a band that could be around for long while, if they want to.

There has been so much hype around this band since they first hooked up seven years ago.  Much of it centers around their origin while studying together at Columbia University.  It seems like every critic has an opinion, whether based in myth or variations of truth, about who these guys are and what they’re about and waspy looking guys making South African pop and blah blah blahdy blah whatever.  What’s been lost in so much of that misdirected (and largely incorrect) spew is the music they are making.  The really, really good music.

Modern Vampires of the City is a great record.  And I typically don’t go for anything vampire related.  But I’ll go for these guys.

My favorites tracks on Modern Vampires of the City:

  • Worship You
  • Step
  • Obvious Bicycle
  • Hannah Hunt

~ by themattmorrisshow on May 10, 2013.

One Response to “Modern Vampires of the City – a quick review of the new Vampire Weekend album.”

  1. […] 3.  Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City   This, their third album, is their best.  I admit that, after their wonderful 2008 debut, I worried that they might be a one-hit album wonder.  The opposite has been true, as each album has superseded that last.  Delightful world rhythms are mixed with lyrics that explore humanity and spirituality.  I wrote more about it here. […]

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