North Texas Daily

Review: “Modern Vampires of the City”

Review: “Modern Vampires of the City”

Vampire Weekend courtesy of MCT

Review: “Modern Vampires of the City”
May 14
12:19 2013

James Clay / Intern

4.5 out of 5 stars

East Coast quartet Vampire Weekend’s third album, released today, “Modern Vampires of the City” is its most mature album to date.

Front man and lyricist Ezra Koenig has left behind the preppy, self-referential attitude that brought his band fame, deciding to give it a tune-up.

With this album, the group has evolved from being just another hip indie buzz-band into a group that insists on being taken seriously.

“Modern Vampires of the City” starts with bleak lyrics that don’t match the peppy beat. A good example can be found in the lead single “Diane Young” with lyrics centered around being young. Later on, Vampire Weekend’s record begins asking existential questions in songs such as “Unbelievers.”

Keyboardist and composer Rostam Batmanglij takes the sound of the band to a more softer side than fans are used to hearing, especially in the ballads “Hannah Hunt” and “Obvious Bicycle.”

“Finger Back” and “Step” are catchy, fun songs to listen to and show that a groovy side of Vampire Weekend still exists.

“Modern Vampires” has more depth than previous albums, with songs that seem more inspired by passion and experience than the sake of being a trendy band.

As eclectic as the songs on the album are, they fit together and tell the modern tale of a young New Yorker trying to make sense of the city that never sleeps.

The album art that depicts the big apple in the 1960s covered with smog, perhaps suggests how the quartet interprets the city. “Hudson,” for instance, describes a post-apocalyptic New York City, making it the group’s darkest track to date.

College rock with funky African drums is a far cry to the new direction the band has taken as it has now abandoned themes about social status, trading them for songs about love and self-reflection.

It will be an exciting day when Dallas fans get a chance to see the new songs performed live, since Vampire Weekend has not played in Dallas since its 2010 album “Contra” was released.

Vampire Weekend finds a nice balance in its sound showing the musical diversity, allowing them to be hip enough for the hipsters and poppy enough for mainstream listeners.

It may have been a very long wait for this album, but “Modern Vampires of the City” made it worthwhile.

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