Artist – Album: Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Released: 29th January 2008
Sounds Like: Upper West Side Soweto (apparently)
Vampire Weekend’s eponymous debut album is now celebrating it’s fifth birthday (happy birthday Vampire Weekend!), but, for a lot of the finger-on-the-pulse internet community (and no, I don’t mean me...), these were well known songs way before then.
‘Mansard Roof’, the pleasingly disposable introduction to the album, was officially released as a single three months beforehand, and most of the rest of the album had begun cropping up across the web by that time.
What’s impressive is that by the time this album came around, it was still incredibly well received. The songs have something of a timeless quality and even after repeated listens over the years their sheen remains shiny. ‘Oxford Comma’ is a literate two fingers at grammar Nazis and, well, everything. ‘A-Punk’, with it’s Ramones-esque “hey hey hey” chants, is more high tempo than high brow but remains a riot. ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ brilliantly fits and exceeds the afro-pop label they were labelled with early on.
The whole album is a triumph and it’s difficult to think of a better debut from the last decade. Few groups ever achieve the lyrical wit of Ezra Koenig’s penmanship, or the laidback cool of their guitar work, or the enterprising mix of influences such as Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and indie college rock. After the very-nearly-as-good follow up Contra, there’s real reason to get excited about the boys’ third album, due in May.
Albumaday... rating: 9/10
1. Mansard Roof – 2:07
2. Oxford Comma – 3:15
3. A-Punk – 2:17
4. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa – 3:34
5. M79 – 4:15
6. Campus – 2:56
7. Bryn – 2:13
8. One (Blake’s Got a New Face) – 3:13
9. I Stand Corrected – 2:39
10. Walcott – 3:41
11. The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance – 4:03
Listen to ‘Mansard Roof’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlgNFwoApec