Sunday, February 17, 2008

Album of the Week Vol. 1 - Vampire Weekend

In order to keep things fresh and keep this blog read-worthy, I will do an album of the week every Sunday/Monday as well as a Movie of the week every Wednesday/Thursday. Some will be classics, some will be new listens that are noteworthy. Regardless, here is Vol. 1.

Buzz bands and hype bands aren't quite the thing. Buzz band has a more positive connotation to it meaning you are just hearing about them a lot. A hype band is a band that may get over hyped by the time you get to hear the album and they don't usually live up to what you heard, therefore ruining the experience. Vampire Weekend walks a thin line between hype and buzz. Regardless of any of that, now that the album has dropped and we can give it a listen, we should forget what we may have heard about the group, lower our expectations and listen to it.

That said, after many listens through, Vampire Weekend's self titled album is a delightful pop record. Blending the sounds of afro beat and modern indie pop, the album consists of very enjoyable and modern pop songs. That being said, their isn't much new brought to the table on this record. Many songs sound similar in style to some other buzz/hype bands, especially the band Tapes N Tapes. They are only similar in their stripped down pop sensibilities. This doesn't make it a bad album, it just makes it another in a whole line-up of indie rockers that are blending old styles with stripped down goodness. The album has a dreamy tone, the vocals are quality and the music is great for driving on a summers day (even though I have yet to do this since it's January.)

The album kicks off with the first single "Mansard Roof", a jaunty organ ladled jam with minimal guitars and lyrical wordplay. The album follows this formula for the most part. Songs like "A-Punk" amp up the guitars rather than the organ and "Oxford Comma" shows it's disdain for grammar. The most delightful tracks come later in the album. "I Stand Corrected" is the most melancholy track on the album although it's definitely not a slow or mellow song in the least. "Walcott" is by far my personal favorite track with it's very echoey piano line, building passion and escapist attitude towards Cape Cod. "M79" sounds as if it were written to be added to a Wes Anderson soundtrack with it's grandiose harpsichord's and string arrangements.

If anything, Vampire Weekend is definitely worth a listen if you like pallatable indie pop music. Is it going to expand your mind? No. Is it the best new thing you'll ever hear? Probably not. Is it damn good pop music? Hell yes. That in itself makes the album worth the listen, the buy, the borrow, the steal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy about this post! I loved their video, but couldn't remember their name.