Indiana Daily Student

Weekend vacation

Vampire Weekend will always be cooler than you.
Vampire Weekend will always be cooler than you.

The recurrent theme in much of the writing about Vampire Weekend's debut album is the debate over whether the band is merely another example of dreaded online overhype. It doesn't help that the band practically courts haters by referring to its African-influenced sound as "Upper West Side Soweto" and writing songs about the romantic travails of overeducated, over-traveled, over-sophisticated East Coast preppies.\nBut here's the problem: Vampire Weekend's debut turns out to be fun, and different, and surprisingly consistent. Sorry, folks -- as much fun as it is to pop hype bubbles, this one deserves it.\nTheir pretentiously-named sound turns out to be a combination of shifting, syncopated percussion, light organ, strings and buoyant guitars. Whether in its more laid-back or jumpy incarnations, Vampire Weekend's style breezes by, creating a feeling of relaxing on a green campus lawn under a bright blue sky, having a cool drink and watching students and faculty amiably drift past. The lyrics, meanwhile, knit together a world where guys show off their knowledge by name-dropping Indian towns, architectural features and grammatical rules, pine for posh girls from across the quad and run around the Northeast. \nIt gets a bit precious at times but is more often charming than not -- my only real complaint about these lyrics is that they could give us a bit more heart to go with the brains, although in "Campus" and "Bryn," a bit of sweetness manages to peek out from behind the veil of studied cool.\nAltogether, Vampire Weekend brings this scene to life with sheer vividness. And given that with most debut albums, bands are doing really well if they simply manage to produce 11 solid songs, the fact that Vampire Weekend pulled off such an ambitious result is absolutely shocking. It might be hard to stand being around the songs' protagonists in the real world -- at least, for those of us who forego Louis Vuitton accessories to pay for food -- but the band's soundtrack for its world makes a compelling case for trying out its lives. At least, for the duration of the album's 34-minute run.

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