Modern Vampires Of The City

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AVERAGE RATING
5 out of 5
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5
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Performance

Just fantastic!

by TB on 10/15/2013

I like Vampire Weekend okay, but my wife really likes them. After hearing this album, I'm becoming a bigger fan. There are songs on here that just beg you to hum along and tap your toes. A great album to play start to finish and we'll turn this on for dinner, outside on the grill, etc. I think it's their best album yet. Read More

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Product Overview

Specifications

Label XL Records/ada
SKU 249061400
UPC 634904055622
UPC 14 00634904055622
Format CD
Release Date 5/7/2013
Links
Author Vampire Weekend
Compilation Appearance Carrie (ost)
Compilation Appearance Pay Close Attention:xl Recordings
Compilation Appearance Boyhood (ost)
Compilation Appearance Music From The Motion Picture Paper T
Compilation Appearance Twilight Saga:Eclipse (Original Soundtrack) (Deluxe Version)
Technical Info
Engineer Rostam Batmanglij; Nick Rowe; Dave Schiffman; Michael Harris; Ariel Rechtshaid
Producer Rostam Batmanglij; Ariel Rechtshaid
CatalogID 40556
Lable Name XL
Released 05/13/2013
Original Release 2013
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 42m : 54s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
UPC 00634904055622
Album Notes and Credits
Lyricist: Ezra Koenig.
Personnel: Ezra Koenig (vocals); Rostam Batmanglij (guitars, banjo, piano, keyboards, shaker, drum programming, background vocals); Chris Tomson (drums).
Audio Mixers: Justin Gerrish; Rostam Batmanglij; Ariel Rechtshaid.
Recording information: Downtown Studios, New York, NY; Echo Park Back House, Los Angeles, CA; RB's Apt; Slow Death Studios, Burbank; Vox Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Neal Boenzi.
At the time of its release, Modern Vampires of the City was touted as a "deeper" offering from Vampire Weekend. While that's true to an extent, it downplays the equally heartfelt and clever songs on their first two albums. What is undeniable is that Modern Vampires is a lot less obviously showy than the band's previous work. They trade in Contra's bright eclecticism for a less audacious production style and smaller instrumental palette: guitar, organ, harpsichord, and the occasional sample combine into a rarefied sound that suggests a more introspective version of their debut, and the band bookends the album with some of its most literal and insular chamber pop on "Obvious Bicycle" and "Young Lion." Modern Vampires' quieter approach also showcases what might be most enduring about Vampire Weekend's music -- endearing melodies and carefully crafted lyrics. It also fits Ezra Koenig's preoccupations on this set of songs, chief among them the fact that we're all going to die. The band sums up all of this brilliantly on "Step," where the music's hip-hop beats and harpsichords reflect the allusions to Souls of Mischief and growing pains in Koenig's lyrics. Elsewhere, Vampire Weekend tones down the quirks that may have polarized listeners before; songs like "Everlasting Arms" and "Unbelievers" walk the fine line between cheery and grating so well that they could win over those who previously found them too peppy and preppy. Similarly, Modern Vampires of the City's political allusions are also subtler than they were on Contra, where the band brandished them like college students all too willing to display their awareness of current events: Koenig sounds offhanded when he sings "though we live on the US dollar/We got our own sense of time" on "Hannah Hunt," and even the album's most overtly political song, the darkly verbose "Hudson," adopts a more historical stance as it incorporates everything from 17th century explorers, pre-war apartments, and exclusive New York neighborhoods into its meditations on fate versus free will. Of course, Vampire Weekend can't completely stifle their exuberance, and the album's louder moments stand out even more vibrantly against the subdued ones. "Diane Young"'s brash, buzzy mix of doo wop, surf, and punk feels like a nod to Contra as well as Billy Joel's "You May Be Right," and Koenig sings "I don't wanna live like this, but I don't wanna die" with so much joy on "Finger Back" that it celebrates life as much as it contemplates mortality. Ultimately, Modern Vampires of the City is more thoughtful than it is dark, balancing its more serious moments with a lighter touch and more confidence than they've shown before. Even if Koenig and company fear getting old, maturity suits them well. ~ Heather Phares
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.67) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Vampire Weekend have gotten better and just about everything they do. The grooves -- always the thing that made the band's twee side work -- are more self-assured."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "VW's elegant under-the-chandelier pop numbers and jaunty upper-crust punk rave-ups still provide subtext-free sonic pleasures....Bright and sweet with plenty to chew on." -- Grade: A-
CMJ - "In a jarringly beautiful manner, Vampire Weekend has grown....MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY stands to become the group's PAUL'S BOUTIQUE, raising the bar from being a fun but safe band to breaking ground ahead of their peers."
Billboard (p.41) - "The new set is the group's most accomplished work to date....Just fine-tuned, expertly crafted music."
Q (Magazine) (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] clever record. It's also, however, one that glows with tangible human warmth, heartbeat never failing to keep pace with its brainwaves."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.84) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] the fragrant baroque-pop of 'Step' and the maniacal ivory hammering of 'Unbelievers.'"
Disc 1
1 Obvious Bicycle
2 Unbelievers
3 Step
4 Diane Young
5 Don't Lie
6 Hannah Hunt
7 Everlasting Arms
8 Finger Back
9 Worship You
10 Ya Hey
11 Hudson
12 Young Lion
Product Attributes
Artist Vampire Weekend
Label Xl Recordings/beggars Group
Music Format Compact Disc

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Just fantastic! by TB on Oct 15, 2013

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