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Modern Vampires of the City

Modern Vampires of the City

May 13, 2013

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: May 13, 2013
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Copyright: 2013 XL Recordings Ltd under exclusive license from Vampire Weekend LLC.
  • Total Length: 42:56
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00CP2Z5TC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

I would highly advise buying this album to everyone I know.
Aaron M. Beatty
It has a very different sound if you compare it to "Contra", but overall, I think this album is still very strong.
Alan Ramirez
Vampire weekend is one of my favorite bands right now and this just might be their best album yet.
Markus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By M. Hopkins on May 14, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been with Vampire Weekend ever since I first saw "A-Punk" on VH1, and am happy to say that they just keep getting better. I loved their first cd and then nearly went wild when Contra came out. But this one takes it to a new level. Rarely do you find artists willing to devote time to making songs that simultaneously are lyrically beautiful and musically textured. We saw that with the first two albums, and now Vampire Weekend has proven how consistent they are by delivering another round of catchy, layered tunes.

In all honesty, I was a bit hesitant in purchasing Modern Vampires, despite how habitually I listen to their other albums. Mainly, I thought their sound might be getting too different. But after listening to the samples, I decided to go ahead and make the purchase, if not just in support of their previous work. I was thoroughly relieved to find that I still feel a profound connection with their songs. In a way, they are getting different, but in no way have they rewrote their style. Modern Vampires of the City fits naturally in the VW trio, and gracefully echoes many of the themes found in previous tracks without any trace of redundancy. It also looks great next to their other albums.

A word to any of you still on the fence: the samples do not give this album justice! Without the natural context of the songs, you miss out on the smooth transitions between tracks. And these transitions play a key role in creating the progression of thought that weaves this album into the complex story that it is.

In short, this album is a real tribute to Vampire Weekend's resiliency in style. Modern Vampires of the City proves to be rife with songs that elicit strong visceral reactions and for many of the songs there will likely be a new interpretation for each listening.
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77 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Rock on May 14, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The third album in the Vampire Weekend trilogy was met with the same fanfare the other two received (and for good reason). This band knows how to make a pop record. Not since Beck hit the scene, releasing his 1996 breakout album, Odelay, has a band managed to so expertly tow the line between experimental and poppy, uniting both the indie and mainstream listener. The band has its quirks but uses them to its advatage, unlike lesser indie bands that become obnoxious over time due to an eccentricity overload. Pop songwriting has always been a breeze for Vampire Weekend.

With that said, Modern Vampires of the City breaks away from the carefree summery spirit of its predecessors. Forget about the good schools and friends with pools; Cape Cod has been vacated for the winter. Mortality, faith, and existential crises are now on the agenda, playing against a cold monochromatic New York City skyline cloaked in a dense layer of smog (with a Bret Easton Ellis-style title tramp-stamped in the top corner for good measure). It's safe to say the band is making an uncomfortable transition into being... adults. Wistful, poignant, and incredibly melancholy, this album is a huge departure for the band but not an unwelcome one.

I have chosen to review this album track-by-track, as I have with past reviews.

"Obvious Bicycle" - Interesting choice for a first track. Arguably the least engaging song of the bunch, this song might have been better sequenced somewhere toward the end of the album. It seems a little too slow to kick things off properly but it does have a nice Wilco thing going on (and a very Mr. Roger's Neighborhood piano part at the end).
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82 of 113 people found the following review helpful By StormJH1 on May 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's clear that Vampire Weekend wanted to go in a different direction with this album. Many people will reward them for that, citing the "evolve or die" argument. But if you were a fan of Vampire Weekend's first two albums (as I am) and excited for this new release (as I was), there's the potential for massive disappointment here.

My primary source of disappointment (and the reason I decided to become the first 3* reviewer) is the total absence of notable guitar work on the album. As a guitar player, I'm obviously biased, but I feel like Vampire Weekend had a few hallmarks to their sound that make them identifiable as a band. One of those is the "faux harpsichord" progressions, which still appear on this album. They also have some beautiful piano parts layered underneath Ezra's vocals. But the guitar riffs - a variety of vintage, almost "surf"-like undertones - are almost completely gone, and that was one of my favorite aspects of Vampire Weekend's music. Take virtually any notable VW song (A-Punk, Oxford Comma, Holiday, Cousins, etc.), and there is heavy guitar work that makes up the identity of those songs. (The beautiful piano work on "Taxi Cab" would be a notable exception to this rule). That VW has chosen to virtually eliminate guitar from the formula and become more a piano/electronic band doesn't make them "bad", but takes away an important element of what made them great.

As a secondary complaint, I would note that there's real lack of energy in this album. It reminds me a lot of all the things wrong with U2's "No Line on the Horizon" - excellent musicianship, but ask yourself an important question: "Had this been the FIRST album from this band, would anyone have noticed them through the crowd?".
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