Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend

I don't actually feel too bad about reviewing the self titled debut album from Vampire Weekend so many months after it was released. Two reasons: firstly, it's still present in the charts. More and more people seem to like them as the weeks go by. But secondly, if I had to describe the album in one word, it would be "summery".

I'd actually be tempted to say "Caribbean", especially when you listen to Cape Cod, and the introduction to Bryn. I don't think they actually use Steel Drums and dance down a beach, but you could imagine it. However, despite the instrumental choice in I stand corrected it's not Caribbean; and M79 is more baroque than anything else. Still summery though.

On the whole, it's a fairly frantic record. Fast beats, and lots of notes. Strangely, whilst that normally relates to dance music, "Vampire Weekend" is anything but. From the John Peel stage at Glastonbury they introduced A-Punk as "the only song of ours you can dance too", and I think it's actually a fair point. It's definitely more music to enjoy than music to spend an evening with.

I do, however, have one distinct complaint about the album - and that's the length of it. The number of tracks (11) is about usual nowadays - but they're all fairly short. There's no "long" track, and when you put the record into your play and it introduces a length of 37minutes you wonder what else they could have put on the CD - especially when some CDs (Sawdust by Killers for instance) manage a full 70+minutes. It does raise the question if they had extra material to put on the record, or if that's it. How long might it take to write enough content for a second album?

Of course, they say the best things come in small packages, and that's probably my only criticism of the album, which can't be a bad review all-in-all. Some tracks are stronger than others, Campus being a particular favourite here, but I wouldn't say there's any that are particularly bad.

I'm expecting the album will continue to hover around the charts for a while. So, whilst it does, I still would recommend heading out and buying it.

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