Contra

  • Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: Jan 12, 2010
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 537 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. ElijihW.
    Jan 14, 2010
    5
    Not bad... Not good. Just regular.
  2. MattM.
    Jan 14, 2010
    5
    Daddy when you call me you can call me Al.
  3. RicO.
    Jan 16, 2010
    5
    In a few years from now, no one will remember Vampire Weekend. They're a trend that won't last.
  4. MattK
    Jan 17, 2010
    5
    Boring and uninteresting, Vampire Weekend make a safe sounding album that whitewashes their worldly influences.
  5. AliB
    Jan 17, 2010
    4
    when did this band become so bad that they don't know what their best material is and they stick it as bonus tracks here and there? also what the f happened to the strings and Upper West Side Soweto? now it's just a bad appropriation of Soweto.
  6. RayW.
    Jan 18, 2010
    5
    Don't they sound a bit gay though? Just saying i think Motley Crue deserve another listen.
  7. May 7, 2013
    5
    I'm only giving it a 5/10 because I only liked half the songs on this album. My pick tracks (and the only ones I enjoyed): 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11. Diplomat's Son being my favorite, and Giving up the gun also. Why did they choose that awful song as a first single?
  8. Oct 2, 2010
    4
    What happened? Vampire Weekend's debut was of a style so fresh, simple and absorbing it couldn't help but collect masses of praise from critics and fans alike, yet they've somehow weighed themselves down in this second outing. Opener 'Horchata' and lead single 'Cousins' are full of such dizzying synth or percussion hooks you almost feel nauseous listening to them, while 'White Sky' is anWhat happened? Vampire Weekend's debut was of a style so fresh, simple and absorbing it couldn't help but collect masses of praise from critics and fans alike, yet they've somehow weighed themselves down in this second outing. Opener 'Horchata' and lead single 'Cousins' are full of such dizzying synth or percussion hooks you almost feel nauseous listening to them, while 'White Sky' is an uninspiring rip-off of Paul Simon's Graceland. The one high point on the album is 'Taxi Cab', which is actually one of the best tracks the band have ever written and the only example of them being able to replicate the beautiful harmony and delicacy of their debut while simultaneously being a change of style. The rest of the album sounds hideously like a Vampire Weekend tribute group that just don't get the sound. Expand
  9. RaphS
    Jan 14, 2010
    5
    Very very disappointing. When did Ezra turn into Weird Al?? Paul Simon's Graceland is a masterpiece which should and must never be compared to this junk. Batmanglij should focus more on keyboards and less on making VW another Discovery, i.e. useless and rubbish.
  10. SimonO
    Jan 17, 2010
    5
    Lyrics do not flow with many of the songs, seem oddly out of place
  11. KurtC
    Jan 12, 2010
    6
    "Cousins" is by far the best song on this album; too bad the rest of the album couldn't live up to those expectations. On first listen I came away bored and disappointed considering their debut made my Top 10 in 2008. I found the majority of the songs on "Contra" too frilly and empty of emotion or groove, not to mention the overly annoying vocals. I'll give them another chance, "Cousins" is by far the best song on this album; too bad the rest of the album couldn't live up to those expectations. On first listen I came away bored and disappointed considering their debut made my Top 10 in 2008. I found the majority of the songs on "Contra" too frilly and empty of emotion or groove, not to mention the overly annoying vocals. I'll give them another chance, but I have to say it was tough to make it through the first time. Expand
  12. RupertM
    Jan 15, 2010
    5
    If you want the real VW, listen to Contramelt A and B on the bonus disc. The main release is MOR pop crap. Enjoy the Billboard number 1 Batmanglij with your production-lite techniques.
  13. JustinP
    Jan 16, 2010
    6
    Does anyone else find this music not very exciting?
  14. Apr 29, 2013
    6
    I loved the Vampire Weekend debut. It was a slick combination of indie rock, baroque pop anthems and surf rock guitar riffs. Contra, at it's time in 2010, was a highly anticipated album that some say had too much hype than it should have gotten. To be honest, I agree. There are some tracks on this album that I absolutely loved, (Take Diplomat's Son, and "Cousins"), and some that wereI loved the Vampire Weekend debut. It was a slick combination of indie rock, baroque pop anthems and surf rock guitar riffs. Contra, at it's time in 2010, was a highly anticipated album that some say had too much hype than it should have gotten. To be honest, I agree. There are some tracks on this album that I absolutely loved, (Take Diplomat's Son, and "Cousins"), and some that were so-so. To be honest, I only like about half of the track son this record, the others grew on me. I'm giving them credit for building on their own sound, and again, I really really love some of these tracks, however, that's only half the package.

    It just never grew on me. 6/10
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Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Contra establishes that his band has chosen another path, celebrating the world's contradictions, contraindications, and contradistinctions with a new pop sound made up of old pop sounds that aren't the same old pop sounds.
  2. Contra is a solidly entertaining, well-constructed album, and if people take to it, the tendency to mock the band will, I think, fade, simply because it doesn't have obviously unfashionable moments to feel uneasy about.
  3. If Vampire Weekend was Rushmore, Contra is their Royal Tenenbaums: brainy, confident and generally awesome.