Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend (XL)

Vampire Weekend has been buzzing in the blogosphere for almost a year now—some overzealous hipsters even named the Brooklyn band's self-titled debut "Best Album of 2007". . . even though it wasn't even officially released last year. Fresh out of Columbia University, these four smarty-pants sing about French designer Louis Vuitton, Cape Cod and the correct use of commas—subjects that come off way pretentious, no matter how you look at them, but become even more so in the hands of cardigan- and Polo-wearing Ivy League grads. Somehow, though, Vampire Weekend manages to actually get away with it. The preps make lines such as "You're walking across the campus/Cruel professor/Studying romances" sound quirky, not pompous. (It helps that they play music that mixes stripped-down indie rock with splashes of Afropop.)

"Walcott" begins with a torrent of fluttering piano, "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" rides a repetitive but hooky three-chord guitar riff, and "A-Punk" messes around with the beat enough times to keep listeners alert. Comparisons to Paul Simon's Graceland and Talking Heads' entire catalog are unavoidable, but Vampire Weekend offers its own thrills too.

 
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