Vampire Weekend – Contra

This week, Vampire Weekend releases their second album, Contra. You can already stream it for free at their myspace page. I really liked Vampire Weekend’s debut album and am enjoying the new one so far as well. Weekend’s preppy vocals over African beats gives them a fresh, unique sound. Think Paul Simon’s Graceland sound with lyrics about boarding school experiences and wearing sweaters on the beach in the winter.

Contra begins with Horchata, a bouncy tune about drinking a milky, rice-based beverage common in Spain and Latin America with deep drum beats, strings, and marimba. White Sky swirls around like a Paul Simon song. California English uses auto-tune and reminds me of something from guitarist Rostam Batmanglij’s side project Discovery. Cousins, the first single from the new album, is an upbeat song with a catchy hook. Diplomat’s Son is a relaxed, reggae tune that includes a rhythmic sample of M.I.A‘s Hussel.

Overall, while this album is not much of a departure from their previous effort (a good thing), Contra feels more grown up. Vampire Weekend has proven that they can make good, tight albums (read: no filler) that can be thrown in your CD player and played straight through.

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~ by johnnyjay on January 11, 2010.

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