So there I was, on a flight from Chicago to Paris. O'Hare to Charles De Gaulle. Nine hours to kill. I had spent the first part of that day on a plane from Portland to Chicago. PDX to O'Hare, slept away most of those three hours. Now fully rested on a larger plane with three times as many hours to waste. I could kill them watching the romedy Music & Lyrics starring the "acting" skills of Drew Barrymore and the stuttering/blinking of Hugh Grant. No thanks. I'll listen to Vampire Weekend.
My initial response: what a terrible name. I found out the name comes from a film lead singer/songwriter Ezra Koenig was working on and never completed. From the looks of the trailer he created, I think it's best the film was put on the shelf and his focus went to this music.
The thirty-five minutes of music on this debut rushed through me so rapidly, I had to do a triple take. Each song should be a single. You know when you listen to Green Day you know you're listening to Green Day because all their songs sound alike? Well it's similar, but not the same with Vampire Weekend. They have a specific sound and they are immediately recognizable, but the eleven songs on this album showcase different influences and inspirations of their sound.
The opening track, "Mansford Roof," sounds like a gypsy's take on the Kinks with some pompus Englishman singing. Then you hear their song "A-Punk" which sounds like the Police. I'm pretty sure if you scanned the bands collective musical libraries you would be lost in a 'what the hell is this?' world. Pop, Ska, Reggae, Punk - they put it all in a blender and serve it up sweetly.
Landing in Paris, I found myself bouncing to the smooth beat of "Oxford Comma," trying to sing along. Seems to me that over the course of nine hours you can memorize new music pretty quickly.
Oh, and as if I need to tell anyone - Drew and Hugh end up together after a bit of a rocky relationship. I didn't need to listen to the movie to understand the stereotypical plot. Hooray for the romantic comedy. Ugh.