>If I could re-title Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut, it would probably be something like “Summertime in the Hamptons”, because it played like an album divulging the exploits of rich college kids on their Summer siesta. Though I couldn’t necessarily relate to the lyrical content, this Four piece Indie-Rock group is all about the music and the very skilled band set the album up to also be a very worldly, earthy sound while still having loads of fun. The groups recently released sophomore album titled “Contra” could probably be re-titled as “Winter Time in the Hamptons”. The themes of the lyrics hasn’t changed drastically, just seemingly the season. Still not being able to relate to their lyrics, the music on this album serves the same purpose of the last outing. They deliver a very earthy and worldly sound on the sophomore as well, not changing up their style too drastically but still succeeding at putting a very sharp and fun album together.
I can’t say definitively yet which is the better album, the more I listen to “Contra” the more I’ll probably fall in love with it. It has some great stand out tracks including the first single “Cousins”, as well as “I Think Your a Contra”, “White Sky” and “Horchata”. “Taxi Cab” and “Diplomat’s Son” are two other really great tracks, but still most of these don’t compare (yet) to the greatness of “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” or “Blake’s Got a New Face” from their first outing. Those songs were really simple, but packed a lot of punch in the various instruments used and even the recording method. Maybe the problem with “Contra” is that they got too comfortable and don’t have the same Hunger they had when recording the first album. The new one does come off a little more polished and hence a little less effective, in fact “Giving Up the Gun”, which isn’t a horrible song, feels strange on the album because it seems like it’s sole purpose is to become a Top 40 Hit and doesn’t seem as organic as most of their material.
Still “Contra” is more than a solid album, and definitely a highlight of 2010’s album releases so far. I would assume it would serve as a great road trip or study album as it flows really well and for the most part is very calming music, with some great melodies and a little beat to make it more fun.