Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vampire Weekend - Contra (2010)

So i dont get it with these guys. A lot of people hate them a lot of people love them for all different reasons. one of the main reasons they seem to be hated is people think of them as phonies. this doesnt make any sense since they were never really underground, they were signed by a major label right off the bat, there wasnt any indie cred, there was blog cred but they never "sold out" or whatever it is people think they did. this is just a few kids making african influenced pop rock. i will be the first to admit that these guys do write a fair amount of garbage but when they succeed in their songs they can be pretty impressive. now this is by no means an excellent album or even a really good one to be exact. I have broken the album down into three very easy to follow categories.

1. 4 songs that are exceptionally well written and thought over and are just really good examples of pop done right.
the songs are as follows.
"White Sky"-a very nice play off paul simon's graceland sound with some really nice guitar work and catchy vocal melodies.
"California English"-an auto-tuned led frantically paced song with great percussion and string arrangements, sounds very big and full yet it is one one of the quickest and shortest songs on the album, probably the most good ideas crammed into one song on this album.
"Cousins"-Spazzy lead single off the album, crazy fast guitar work, i would say this is very early ska influenced but also very african in its guitar work too, and the percussion once again is awesome, the song is a bit quirky and a bit of a throwaway but it's damn catchy and infectious.
"Diplomat's Son"-starts off with an MIA sample(too soon?) which also happened to be a sample of a Toots and the Maytals song(double sampling...hmmm they might be onto something or they might be idiots) but yeah this is very laid back and very indebted to Graceland but it's very well done and it really does pick up in the second half of the song, the lyrics might be the best on the whole album.

2. 3 songs that are really middle of the road and neither good nor bad just whatever.
they are as follows:
"Taxi Cab"

3. Songs so horrible they deserve to be written about and discussed with such venomous im kidding but these do suck really hard.
"Horchata"-so at first this song kind of gets you, it's catchy but it's also fucking lame as hell, it has good percussion but i cant forgive the accents on the vocals. let's see, it is ok to pronounce Horchata with a latin accent, sure its cool, but saying the word psychotic in the next line with a latin accent for no reason is unforgiveable, you really have to hear it to believe it, but it's disgusting and borderline rascist sounding.
"Giving Up the Gun"-more like giving up the talent, this is the most blatant grab for a mainstream hit i have maybe ever heard on a decent album, it screams of Maroon 5, i cant really understand how they let this one out unless it was to grab some of the Black Eyed Peas/Fallout Boy crowd, it's fucking disgusting.
"I Think UR a Contra"-just really fucking boring and a horrible tired way to end an album, i mean really really fucking boring.

so yeah there you have it, it's pretty much just an average album with some really high points and some super low points, honestly i havent been able to dissect an album this easily for years, is this a good thing or a bad thing, who knows, all i know was it made this review really easy to write.


  1. Sean,

    I really do agree that they are overrated. I was appalled The Rolling Stone regarded them so highly on the Top 100 albums list, when clearly their debut was above average at best. -Hut