"Modern Vampires of the City" sees Vampire Weekend distancing themselves from the Afrobeats and artful preppiness that dominated their previous two albums; here, the Ezra Koenig led band shows us a more intimate side, while dealing with deeper, more trascendental issues: there'll be no mentions of "Vuitton" in this album, whereas God gets two songs (the wonderful "Ya Hey" and "Worship you") and the marvelous "Step" succeeds in letting us see the band's underlying idea: "Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth", Koenig croons. Musically, this lyrical change finds its counterpart in the introduction of new instruments - a piano guides the sweet "Obvious Bicycle" - and a more minimalist approach production wise. Nevertheless, the album - considerably quieter than the two preceding LPs -still packs a couple of good punches: the drum-heavy "Finger back" and "Diane Young" - the latter being a energetic showstopper, whilst ever continuing to explore what appears to be the album's leitmotiv: the growing-up process (Diane Young/Dying young).
It might prove too cumbersome for some, but I think this third effort from VW will win the band some converts: it's still VW - keen on double entendres, haughty references and musical experimentation - but they seem to have stuck the landing: we find the band at the top of their game, effortlessly improving on what were already a couple of very high quality albums.
This, according to band, is the closing installment of a trilogy. I for one am excited to see what they have to offer next.