Modern Vampires of the City, by Vampire Weekend

After three years, Vampire Weekend gives us Modern Vampires of the City. The chamber pop they introduced to us on their debut continues but the band tones down the Paul Simon vibes they developed on Contra. After all, the third time is the charm.

“Obvious Bicycle” is the perfect track to open this collection. Calm and minimal — the lyrics have the focus. Ezra Koenig reassures us with his boyish croon that Millennials need not fret if they don't have it all figured out by the age of 27. “No one’s gonna watch you as you go/ From a house you didn’t build and can’t control.”

“Unbelievers” brings religion and fate to light in such a gentle conviction, it becomes a theme for the album, highlighted on “Everlasting Arms” and “Ya Hey.” “Diane Young” (sung “dying young”) is peppy, classic Vampire Weekend, complete with auto-tuned “baby’s.” It’s a swoosh of freshness that comes out of nowhere after the dreamy slow-tempo “Step.” The song ends with an abrupt drum roll and boom back to indie-waltz mode with “Don’t Lie” and “Hannah Hunt.”

Overall, the album has a more mature sound, with its dark undertones, but still manages to sound young and hopeful. Late 20s put to music. I’m right with them — it’s a strange time in life.

  • Album: Modern Vampires of the City
  • Artist: Vampire Weekend
  • Label: XL
  • Songs: (1) "Obvious Bicycle" (2) "Unbelievers" (3) "Step" (4) "Diane Young" (5) "Don't Lie" (6) "Hannah Hunt" (7) "Everlasting Arms" (8) "Finger Back" (9) "Worship You" (10) "Ya Hey" (11) "Hudson" (12) "Young Lion"

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I disagree. I think the album stinks. Having seemingly exhausted their New York upper crust upbringing as subject matter, they are now reduced to writing generic love songs. Lame titles, weak lyrics, rote instrumentation, really, how can arms be everlasting? This is like a bad singer/songwriter album from the seventies. Ugh!

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