Now that I'm in the stride of Vampire Weekend's debut album: Vampire Weekend, I can listen to it almost ceaselessly, kind of like many people can Paul Simon's Graceland, which is practically this album's spiritual father.
In Graceland, though, Paul Simon hired a bunch of African musicians to accompany his band. Vampire Weekend's percussionist, Chris Tomson, does a great job of African pop drumming all by himself.
It's not really African music though, any more than The Police was really reggae music. (Vampire Weekend's song "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" could easily be a Police song, if The Police could write such smart, snappy lyrics.)
It is good though, if all pop music were like this, I would listen to more pop music. I almost wanted to dislike it, since I got the impression it was some kind of teeny bopper sensation. It's pretty difficult to dislike, though. Even though I figured it was going to be arrogant college kids overstating the importance of their own worldview, eventually I realized that they make fun of it as much as they explain it.
Can you really hate a band that writes a song ("I Stand Corrected") about sincerely admitting a mistake? When it all comes down, it's just a sweet, smart album with fine musicianship that makes you want to just leave it in the CD player again after it's done.
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