CD of the week
Album: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City (XL)
Saturday 11 May 2013
The third album by Vampire Weekend is, by some distance, their most outwardly straightforward.
Unlike their self-titled debut, there's no dicking around with pseudo-African rhythms. And unlike its follow-up Contra, there's precious little electrickery (save for some speeded-up chipmunk or slowed-down bassman vocals).
Perhaps coincidentally, and perhaps not, it also happens to be their most cohesive and convincing effort yet. Dominated by the sort of radio-friendly, skinny-tie new wave pop-rock sound that wouldn't feel out of place on an album by Billy Joel or the Cars from 1981, it's an album haunted by time. In one breath Ezra Koenig is sentimentally nostalgic about childhood days ("asleep on the floor of our high school gym"), in the next he's casting a fearful eye to the ageing process ("Nobody knows what the future holds and it's bad enough just getting old", or "Does it bother you, the low click of a ticking clock?").
Highlights are the cryptic, faintly menacing "Hudson" ("All you who change your stripes can rub me in the fly"), the elegiac and existential "Hannah Hunt", and the absurdly catchy single "Diane Young". It's amazing what you can achieve when you stop messing about.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
Arts & Ents blogs
Why musicians play into their old age
Game of Thrones rape scene: George R. R. Martin says 'whole dynamic' was different in the book
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard
Eurovision 2014 contestants: Meet all the acts from Molly Smitten-Downes to Conchita Wurst
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 1 William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’