Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of the City

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City: Want a life lesson in aging gracefully? Look no further than Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. Album number three finds the pastel-loving quartet trading in their crowded compositions and African-inspired drumbeats for a more subtle, spacious approach that shines a spotlight on frontman Ezra Koenig. The album opens on a surprisingly delicate note with “Obvious Bicycle,” a slow piano ballad directed at the same errant youths who came up with the band. “You oughta spare your face the razor / Because no one’s gonna spare the time for you,” Koenig sings, “So listen, oh / Don’t wait.” But Vampire Weekend’s growth isn’t just about getting older and wiser. Take “Step,” the raga-inspired, harpsichord-filled number that finds Koenig lamenting that he “can’t do it alone.” It’s followed immediately by jumpy first single “Diane Young,” whose pounding keys and glitchy production tricks nicely play off lyrics about living fast and dying young. Ultimately, it’s the sum of Modern Vampires’ parts that make it feel fuller, smarter, and more transcendent than anything the band has done up until now. In other words, if you thought you hated Vampire Weekend, now’s the time to think again.

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