And so at the start of the new decade we are greeted by a band who have great potential, Vampire Weekend. Unfortunately they haven't gotten any closer to really achieving it on this their second album. It's not a complete second album disaster though.
The sound has developed a bit though. There is less of an unrestrained feeling of joy and more focus on the rhythm sections within the tracks such as on `Run' and `Giving Up the Gun'. This gives the tracks more of an urgency and determination which in its way is refreshing when balanced with Ezra Koenig's vocals. Additionally tracks like the opener `Horchata' and `Cousins' provide really nice energetic moments of excessively enjoyable pop. `White Sky' also adds a very welcome slice of Graceland influenced wonder filled with synths and clapping rhythm sections.
The weakest tracks on the album in my opinion are `California English', `Taxi Cab' and `Holiday', though the later still has charm to its excessive hyperactivity. The first is an example of the band trying to be too clever for themselves and sacrificing any tune. `Taxi Cab' is simply forgettable in my opinion with no clear hook.
They have probably saved themselves by only making a ten track album. Any more than that and I suspect there would have been too much filler that would have taken away from the moments of really good quality music. It is a good offering and worth a listen but be prepared that it will not have the sheer unrestrained joy or consistent quality of their debut.