MattHJan 15, 2010I must be hearing this band differently than others because I disagree with the consensus that this is good but worse than their debut. In every way, this sounds to my ears like the confident delivery of what was, to this point, merely potential.… Expand
ThorKJan 12, 2010Hmmmm... I'm kind of confused as to why this has such a low user rating. I find this to be an absolutely excellent album, better than their first if pretty much every aspect. Some standout tracks would be "Horchata," "White Sky," "California English," "Run," and "Diplomat's Son." I loved their first LP and am enjoying this one even more.… Expand
PapaBoxJan 12, 2010They're taking chances. They're expanding their palette. They still make great pop songs. Why are people hating this? I don't like preppy fashion either, but why should they pretend to be someone else? Get some taste.… Expand
Nov 2, 2013[9.3] Contra has a lot of things that Vampire Weekend clearly wants, and clearly recognizes that they didn't have them before. Their debut was self-admittedly pure fun, and while the songwriting was smart, catchy, and generally accessible, it was clearly an exhibition of influence. They wanted very much to get right in your face, and tell you "look at what we know." There is certainly no problem with having influences, but with their debut, they didn't have the right attitude to support their ideas. They wanted to have fun, and more importantly, they wanted other people to have fun. They didn't make music for themselves, which is generally the undoing of many great bands. Contra is a an experiment of self-realization, and it has a whole f*cking lot of character to realize. Their influences are absolutely still there, but now they actually know how to use them. Instead of just saying "look at what I know," they say, "look at what I know, and look at how I'm using it." Now their influences have purpose, they use fun, generally not well-known African pop beats and show how they can be beautiful, rather than just fun. The result is great, and sometimes even nostalgic. One might get the feeling of driving on a tropical island listening to some eccentric Afro-beat, which is almost reminiscent of some video games (or specifically, Far Cry). The sound is distinct, instantly recognizable, and greatly rewarding. While it isn't a reflective album, it doesn't need to be. It's an album about growth (themed appropriately), and most importantly, self-satisfaction. Vampire Weekend passes the test that all new bands struggle with and usually can't figure out. They know what their place is, and they don't care what their audience thinks it is because they don't have to, and they know that.… Expand
TobyHJan 21, 2010I seem to be in the minority here, seeing the User Votes average, but I thought it was as good as their first! OK, there's nothing as catchy as A-Punk (not even lead single Cousins), but neither it there anything as embarrassing as One (Blake's Got A New Face). Best Song: either Diplomat's Son or I Think Ur A Contra. Like their debut, the album begins spikily and gradually becomes more emotional.… Expand
JoeH.Jan 23, 2010Not as solid as the debut - still pretty unique and worth repeated listens.
Mr.TJan 18, 2010I don't actually think it deserves a 0, but it certainly doesn't deserve a 6. Overrated hipster dribble.
Published: December 6, 2010Throughout the next two months, we'll be tracking the year-end Top Ten lists published by various music sites, magazines, and more. Find out which albums are currently in the running for best album of the year.
Published: April 10, 2010With the second album from MGMT arriving in stores this week, we take the opportunity to explore how other bands have fared after releasing a successful debut. Is it possible to have a good second album?
|Lucinda Williams [Reissue] - Lucinda Williams|
|American Radical Patriot [Box Set] - Woody Guthrie|
|The Satanist - Behemoth|
|Live at the Academy of Music 1971 - The Band|
|The Island Years [Box Set] - John Martyn|
|The Finer Things - The State Champs|
|In Utero [20th Anniversary Edition] - Nirvana|
|Spaces - Nils Frahm|
|No Depression [Legacy Edition] - Uncle Tupelo|
|High Land, Hard Rain [30th Anniversary Edition] - Aztec Camera|
|St. Vincent - St. Vincent|
|Moondance [Deluxe Edition] - Van Morrison|
|Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side [Reissue] - The Bottle Rockets|
|12 Stories - Brandy Clark|
|There's a Dream I've Been Saving: 1966-1971 - Lee Hazlewood|
|Memorial - Russian Circles|
|Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz & Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978 - Various Artists|
|The River & the Thread - Rosanne Cash|
|Virgins - Tim Hecker|
|Is Survived By - Touche Amore|