Before Vampire Weekend, I didn’t give a fuck about an Oxford Comma. Now I find that my favourite Ian Dury album, ‘New Boots, and Panties!!’ had been using one since 1977. [this is probably not technically true, but sounds good]. Vampire Weekend is not quite what you expect.
2008 was a great year for albums:
Byrne/Eno | Everything that happens ♦ Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit | are the very best ♦ Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds | Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! ♦ Hot Chip | Made in the Dark Portishead | Third
amongst many others. Vampire Weekend stood out as fun. These guys are so damn catchy. I feel guilty liking them, but they are fun. Hard not to sing along, even on the inane refrain “Blake’s got a new face”.
They seem to build on their dorky reputation, all college and wititisms. I’ve read them described as thoughtful fun. The lyrics seem to have been written during a dull lecture.
“Ion displacement won’t work in the basement
Especially when I’m not with you
Here in the heartland, a feeling so startling
I don’t what I should do”
This is light music mixed with the type of african guitar you might hear on a King Sunny Ade or Johnny Klegg album. It is this guitar work that gives the songs their hook, but it is the string quartet arrangements that give it substance and lifts the music above the ordinary. This is best seen on the half the songs on the album, maybe best seen on Mansard Roof and Campus.
2008 may have been a great year for albums, I am working for Coke having left Nestle a couple of year before. We are in Ryde, I’m preparing to turn 50 (2009). The preparations took awhile, but I wish I’d had more time. It wasn’t the best year for me, a year on hold and this album held me through.
Do yourself a favour and listen to this album. Make sure that you pick up this one. Don’t do what I and when buying a copy for my friend Fiona. Check the cover and make you buy this, their debut album and not the follow up album that looks very similar and sounds somewhat similar, maybe a little more musically developed, but not as much fun.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
One (Blake’s Got A New Face)
I Stand Corrected
The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance