Vampire Weekend – Contra

January 01, 1970

(XL Recordings)


Call it prep school-Africana or vaguely precious Soweto-pop,
the music the boys of Vampire Weekend make have been getting under listeners’
pelts since their start. The sophomore Contra won’t bug fans so much less than their debut even though it’s wiser, brawnier,
spright-lier – and in the case of “California English” – slicker with a big
dose of Auto-Tune wrapped around Ezra Koenig’s chipper voice.


Speedy, synthy and filled with scads of quaint dancehall
reggae/electro touches, VW’s Ezra Pound-meets-Fela Kuti hoot tucks into its
mud-hut grooves (“Diplomat’s Son”) and doesn’t leap out just because they’re
getting dirty. Koenig even grew up a bit since that first album with a savage
poignant flow throughout and a handsomely orchestrated finale (“I Think Ur
a Contra”) where he barks “You wanted good schools and friends with
pools/Well, I just wanted you.” Smart boys. A.D. AMOROSI


“Horchata,” “Giving Up the Gun” “I Think Ur A Contra” A.D. AMOROSI


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