Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vampire Weekend - Contra

One of the most divisive bands in the current indie scene, Vampire Weekend don't seem much shaken about the (unfair) hatred they have always received from some sectors. So what if Ezra Koenig sounds sometimes a bit like Sting, their music reminds in parts of Paul Simon and, most of all, so what if they're rich kids coming from posh Upper West Side New York? Judging from their second album, the answer is obvious: nothing at all! Because Contra is filled with so much radiance and joy that I really think it should be impossible to resist its addictive appeal. Not an obvious sequel to their debut album, but also not a radical departure from their unique trademark blend of indie-afro-punk-baroque-dancehall-electro-ska-pop, Contra is more like a natural evolution, including a couple of welcome changes like some extra electronic elements (there's even a song with a subtle use of vocoder), an even richer and more detailed sonic architecture, and an overall more mellow atmosphere, visible for example in the less-punchy vocals, which makes them sound, well, surprisingly sweet. But make no mistake: what made them so special in the first place (their freshness and ability to create instantly classic catchy anthems) is totally intact, and even then some. (8/10)

Vampire Weekend - Cousins (video)

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