Quick Review (LP): Contra by Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend
Contra
XL; 2010

My Rating: B

Best Tracks: “Horchata”, “Cousins”, “Holiday”

Vampire Weekend’s debut LP was so good that it earned them a lifetime credibility with me. The only thing that could possibly find me not buying their future releases would probably fall under the heading of either “egregious criminal activity” or “Live with Santana.” Even so, this wasn’t at all what I expected. About half of the songs here have at least the potential to live up to the standards set by the likes of “M79”, “Oxford Comma”, and “Walcott,” but unfortunately none of them actually do in execution. If it was a more mature sound that the band was shooting for with LP2, I could have lived with that. Tracks like “Horchata” and “Diplomat’s Son” work well enough stripped of the punk vigor embued in all of the tracks from their debut. However, I’m left scratching my head when tracks like “Cousins” and “Holiday” are interspersed. Furthermore, while on one hand I like it, I wish the band hadn’t made such an obvious play for airwave domination with “Giving Up The Gun.” I know Weezer surrendered to the corporate pop gods a few albums in; I wish VW had at least waited until LP4 or 5. As long as they make albums, I’ll buy them, but I hope I can be more excited about the listen next time around.

Metacritic page
Daytrotter session

Giving Up The Gun video
Cousins video
Holiday video
Pitchfork review
Paste review