Thursday, January 31, 2008

Album Review:
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

(XL; 2008)

Grade: 63.5%

More than half a year has passed since Stereogum and Good Weather for Airstrikes gave Vampire Weekend their stamp of approval, thus setting off a chain of events that saw Vampire Weekend become one of 2007's most buzzed bands. Now that the album is officially out, the amount of hype is starting to reach levels similar to the British invasion, only this time I'm not buying what the buzz bin is selling. Why? The second coming of the Beatles they're not; if anything, Vampire Weekend sound like Paul Simon's Graceland as performed by the Police. Unfortunately for Vampire Weekend, I never really got into Graceland, or The Police.

I did give this album a legitimate shot, I swear. It would be a disservice to both you, the reader, and me, the music fan, to not keep an open mind. And I have to admit that Vampire Weekend does boast several honest-to-God good songs, ones that I might have completely ignored had I not given the album a fair chance. As you might have guessed, the songs I'm currently digging are some of the album's more "rock" songs, such as the first single "A-Punk," "Campus," and "I Stand Corrected." Neither of those songs rely too heavily on the Afro-pop sound Vampire Weekend is being touted for, and they're better for it. In fact, Vampire Weekend could have been a great garage rock or Indie-pop album had the band decided to lean more in either of those directions. Honestly, I wish they had.

My biggest beef with Vampire Weekend isn't that its a bad album. No, the main reason I can't get myself into the album - the same reason I can't get into Graceland, which is also not really a bad album - is because Vampire Weekend is boring with a capital B. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," one of the first Vampire Weekend songs to spread like wildfire, is a total snooze-fest, leaving me to wonder just how the hell they managed to take the internet by storm like they have. The rest of the album never delivers anything else to perk things up either, which leaves me to lament the absence of "Boston," an excellent song from the self-released Blue CD-R "demo" that preceded the album. Vampire Weekend also suffers from being very same-samey, and by the time you get to "Walcott" you'll probably start to think the album is on repeat. Even some of the better songs are hard to distinguish from one another. Again, I should point out that Vampire Weekend isn't necessarily a bad album, but it may as well be because I'll probably never want to listen to it again just the same.

Normally, I'd hesitate to be so harsh on an album that just came out, as usually these things turn out to be "growers" and I'm forced to eat my words. But because the majority of these songs were already available on the Blue CD-R (with little to no change), the album has essentially had several months to gestate, and if it were ever going to grow on me I believe it would have happened by now. But it hasn't, and I'm pretty sure it never will. Oh well. Here's hoping 2008's next "it" band is a little more exciting.


The Moon said...

Don't feel too bad... I'm not such a big fan either... They aren't bad, they just aren't really all that great either *shrugs*

Anonymous said...

Great review. I just picked this up, although I didn't pay for it. I don't understand either how this record received all its hype. It's an OK record with a couple catchy songs, but it's basically just regurgitated Police and English Beat songs.
Just found this site. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

no, they really suck. they are a paul simon derivative completly. and they were big assholes in phoenix.

Anonymous said...

vampires suck and so does this band. just saw them on snl and i doubt they will be around this time next year.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree...I don't understand the it because they are rich, young and white and play imitation currently embraceable "Afro-Pop?
I highly doubt if they will be around next year as well.
they are pretty much over-rated.
A Paul Simon Graceland derivative is a pretty awful comparison.

Anonymous said...

I don't get this band either, they're like a shitty Talking Heads. Someone compared them to Pavement, which is just blasphemy. vampire weekend sound more like the Wiggles.

Anonymous said...

They totally suck... you gave them more than a fair chance. They are a few untalented musicians hyped beyond belief for nothing

Anonymous said...

Thank God! I am happy to know that someone else out there finds this band over-hyped. They are fine, I guess. They make me sleepy, and their lyrics are banal. They are a band that mostly makes neo-preppies feel clever.

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