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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll like it!
One of the odd things about trying to describe New York's Vampire Weekend, isn't who has influenced them the most, but the sheer diversity of the various influences. The African rhythms on their 2008 debut album smack of Zimbabwe's Bhundu Boys or The Four Brothers; while lead vocalist Ezra Koenig's delivery reminds of Sting from The Police's 'Regatta de Blanc' period...
Published on 30 Jan 2009 by Peej

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good album
A good album...... but another one of those bands that, for me anyway, needs to be watched and listened to at the same time. I was fascinated by them when I watched the televised Glastonbury set they did, but was a wee bit disappointed just listening to them........ but that's just me!
Published 11 months ago by battenburg


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll like it!, 30 Jan 2009
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
One of the odd things about trying to describe New York's Vampire Weekend, isn't who has influenced them the most, but the sheer diversity of the various influences. The African rhythms on their 2008 debut album smack of Zimbabwe's Bhundu Boys or The Four Brothers; while lead vocalist Ezra Koenig's delivery reminds of Sting from The Police's 'Regatta de Blanc' period. However, there's a touch of Broadway show tunes in there, some baroque quartet and even some Brandenburg Concerto Bach. Whatever the influences, the Noo Yawk proto-punk style has been completely re-imagined with ambiguous lyrics about delightfully esoteric subjects. Most of the references are so obscure you are left scratching your head wondering what it could all mean, so it's best to just let the whole wash over you and enjoy the quirky pop sensibilities and addictive tunes.

Seriously, there's nothing not to like here!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality pop, 15 May 2008
By 
J. Charlesworth (Lewes, E. Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
I must be getting old because I bought this after reading a review in the Grauniad!!! But no regrets here- it's fun, quirky pop that put me in a spring mood, probably because of the reggae/Afro rhythms that permeate the tracks. The most obvious comparison that sprang to mind for me was actually with the Beatles because, like a Beatles album, the tracks are all a bit original and eccentric.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, snappy, witty, happy, 3 Jan 2009
By 
Don Spence "music adict" (Alicante, Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
I caught onto Vampire Weekend a little late, thanks to an Amazon reccomendation. Very glad I got there in the end! This is a very, very good CD that makes it into the 5 star rating thanks to the strength of the best of the songs, rather than the entire body of work which would Vampire Weekendstill have got it a 4. First couple of plays I wasted time playing 'spot the influence'. That was untimately futile as, other than the obvious Paul Simon Graceland influence on a couple of tracks, these songs are very good in their own right. What does the inspiration matter as long as the songs are INSPIRED? I read a press review comparing them to Madness which I consider to be VERY misleading. The Mads are a kind of musical comedy act, while these guys have a sense of humour but are seriously good. Favourite tracks are 'Oxford Comma', 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa', 'One' (Blake's got a new face)and 'Walcott'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS GENERATION'S TALKING HEADS?, 17 April 2011
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
Upon my first encounter to Vampire Weekend (on Jools Holland, sometime in 2008) I dismissed them. Why? It was probably due to the choice swearing on Oxford Comma; which I perceived to flippantly belittle English grammar. Also, concededly, I disliked (or maybe I just didn't quite `get') the African rhythms that the band employed. Or maybe it was Ezra Koenig's delivery that grated. Either way, I was made to rue my detrimental views towards them several years later, especially after my discovery and subsequent infatuation with another preppy, whimsical group with a taste for exotic rhythms (that band being Talking Heads, of course).

A family friend, quite bizarrely, had the album on in her car driving back from the village shop (not at all representative of my weight and overall laziness, I should stress, but I digress) Hearing the album from `Campus' onwards somehow made it more accessible. The track itself, with its shuffling bassline and more immediate chorus somewhat whetted my appetite. The cascading guitars of `Bryn' and the synth washes amidst the off-kilter rhythms of `Blake's Got a New Face' also instigated my intrigue. Then, of course, the car journey abruptly ended and I listened no more.

Eventually, I did give the album a listen in full; and I was astounded by the band's fully-formed cohesion and musical vision. It is simply a set of concise, cerebral, punchy and musically accomplished songs (and not a complete rip-off of Paul Simon's Graceland, as a fair few lazy reviewers are apt to point out). The band combines obscure lyricism with chamber-pop, reggae and African musical influences. This formula on paper sounds artificial; being arty and clever for the sake of mixing genres and, well, being difficult. Yet the band's genuine affinity for these genres, as well as the effortless way they assemble them into their own definitive sound, only makes their debut more convincing.

Opener `Mansard Roof' is possibly the song most indicative of the album's sense of fun and absurdity. The random, but well-placed organ stabs at the beginning make for an unconventional opening. The outlandish lyrics add a sense of mystery and playfulness, with images of French architecture and (seemingly) the Falklands War sitting uncomfortably together.

On second thoughts, Oxford Comma is a brilliant pop song. Aside from the affecting, and relatively direct, lyric in the chorus: ("Through the pain, I always tell the truth") the song's effectual backbeat is matched by the magnificent crescendo towards the end.

`A-punk' is even more catchy. Its spidery riff and `Oh!' chants may have doomed the song to many a drunken indie dance-floor for at least the next decade, but all this is counter-balanced by some deft flutes courtesy of a mellotron in the bridge. Its brevity, at a refreshing 2.18, encapsulates the band's sheer effectiveness.

`Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' sans the arbitrary Peter Gabriel references, is pure nonsensical fun. `M79' is perhaps the only reggae-infused baroque pop song in existence, and certainly the only one to be glorious.

There is, however, a detectable lull in the second half, with `I Stand Corrected' and `Walcott' perhaps overstaying their welcome a little too long. But this makes perfect sense, gearing up towards the finale: `The Kids Don't Stand a Chance'. If there is any song on this album that epitomises Vampire Weekend's promise, it is this. Initially, it appears not to be as exciting as the shorter songs on the album, but the song can be categorised as a slow-burner. The sparse bassline and the snare drum kicks are the soundtrack to more dissociation lyrics in the verses. But soon this develops into a majestic, elegant closer; an aural picture matching the grandeur of the chandelier depicted on the sleeve. Sweetly picked guitar merges with a swooning orchestral arrangement, where cracking drums are offset by ornate flourishes of harpsichord. It seems illogical that something so exhilarating could be so delicate, but this is testament to the giftedness of this four-piece. As they say themselves: "The precedent's already set now".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 20 Jun 2009
By 
Richard Francoise (Rennes, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vampire Weekend [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Vampire Weekend is an alternative music band. There music is soft, different, and really enjoyable (it is my favorite group). The vinyl version is not disappointing at all. Go ahead and buy it, you won't regret it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, Preppy Pop, 12 Feb 2008
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
Vampire Weekend are the latest New York band being tipped as "the ones to watch" by those in the know. Here, they've delivered an album full of bouncy, somewhat quirky pop songs with bags of melody and 'smarter-than-you' lyrics and New England references that makes the bands 'preppyness' pretty obvious.

Because of their well-to-do social background, The Strokes have become an easy comparison to make for music journos, but Vampire Weekends sound is less retro, less guitary and less spikey. The emphasis here is on light, melodic pop tunes with a bit of Afro-beat thrown in (hence the other easy comparison, Paul Simon). It's a record that doesn't sound like much else out there, and the band seems to be having a good time themselves, which transmits to the listener.

Aside from the excellently odd single "Mansard Roof" which has been doing the rounds for a few months now, the highlights for me are new single "A-Punk", possibly the most energetic track on the album, "Campus", a straightforward happy-go-lucky ditty and the Graceland-esque "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", which is quite possibly the most melodious, bounciest track I've heard in years (and it also name-checks Peter Gabriel for good measure).

This is an album for sunny weather. I doubt it will become the first CD you reach for during those introspective, thoughtful moments, however, put this on before a night out and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pop just got smart again - Rock just got fun again!, 25 Feb 2008
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
OK. So I'm bored with the parade of safe singer songwriters and 60's style soulsters who are clogging up the charts, and Radiohead's latest doodlings are not making me feel any better.

But this is a breath of fresh air! Thank you Vampire Weekend!

Every so often there is a band with the breadth of vision to put a lorry load of influences into the blender and come up with something crisp and fresh.

Yes, there is Strokes style Noo-York Noo-Wave in here, African beats and Rythms, Classically influenced chamber pop, Barber Shop, and........ The sort of feast that pop groups served up between 1978 and 1984. But it is a lot more than the sum of it's influences - and Vampire Weekend show some great songwriting ability. And heck, it's just plain fun. This is going to get a lot of 40somethings putting their dancing shoes on again and getting on down to the likes of A-Pop which is pretty much 2Tone Ska revisited.

This is a college record and proud of it. It's a smart record and proud of it. It tosses words around with a gay abandon that reminds me of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.

Best of all this is a Spring and Summer record with a mixture of New York and African sunlight oozing from it's grooves.

Pop just got smart again - Rock just got fun again!
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, punchy and fun alt pop., 16 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. B. Morse (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
The debut album from the (over) hyped NYC foursome is excellent power pop, with African Rhythms and happy jangly guitar. It's short, with lots of the songs barely cresting 3 minutes. But it makes up for it with huge fun hooks and lots of variety. It's a strong opening album from a band I hope survive the huge attention they are getting. The lyrics are at times high handed references to war and historical figures, but at their best are good stories and times socially relevant. Either way you slice it, it's the end of January and this CD will be making lots of year end "best of's". Purchase immediately, if not sooner.
Best tracks: A-Punk, Walcott, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, The Kids Don't Stand A Chance
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, full of summer tunes, 14 July 2010
This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
Great CD, full of summer tunes.

Worth having in your CD collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but not for bimbos, 15 Jun 2009
By 
Mrs. S. C. Bush "Art lover" (Northamptonshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vampire Weekend (Audio CD)
This CD is full of sunshine and happiness - probably due to the African guitar sound. It seems lightweight but isn't quite. There is a lot of depth to the music - I heard violin strings and several other instruments overlaid into the music. I can't wait to see what these boys will come up with next. Definitely one to play if you are feeling grumpy with people.
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