Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. This is a truly magnificent record, and I think it’s going to end up being the album for which we remember Vampire Weekend.
  2. May 15, 2013
    80
    Ultimately, Modern Vampires of the City is more thoughtful than it is dark, balancing its more serious moments with a lighter touch and more confidence than they've shown before.
  3. 20
    In the end, Modern Vampires just seems to fade into a dull glow that will still be overshadowed by the band's explosive self-titled debut. [Jun 2013, p.102]
  4. 80
    It’s time to start thinking of Vampire Weekend not as upstarts but as one of the world’s best bands, because they’ve delivered a trio of great albums in an era when diminished expectations leave most listeners grateful for one.
  5. Oct 4, 2013
    67
    If Modern Vampires of the City makes one thing clear, it's that Vampire Weekend's just getting started here.
  6. Modern Vampires of the City finds the band in both familiar and unfamiliar territory, and it’s pure pleasure hearing them navigate these waters.
  7. May 8, 2013
    88
    Vampire Weekend's most cohesive and musically accomplished album to date.
  8. May 17, 2013
    60
    The problem is the album starts to wear thin about halfway in and never really gets back the strength of those first few songs.
  9. May 13, 2013
    80
    Now there’s an expansiveness in the music, borne out of a confidence that allows the songs to unfurl rather than rebound like pinballs.
  10. May 13, 2013
    63
    Overall, the band has sacrificed the immediacy of the earlier records for something knottier and stranger. For those who once found the band a pleasant diversion at best, Modern Vampires of the City represents an intriguing left turn.
  11. May 6, 2013
    90
    Overall, Modern Vampires Of The City conveys one hell of a sense of permanence from a band that once seemed ephemeral and frivolous.
  12. May 16, 2013
    90
    Vampires Of The Modern City stands to become the group’s Paul’s Boutique, raising the bar from being a fun but safe band to breaking ground ahead of their peers.
  13. May 30, 2013
    80
    Modern Vampires of the City’s songs rarely feel overstuffed or overwritten, with simple kick-snare drumming, plaintive piano chords, and astoundingly well-recorded vocals at their centers.
  14. 90
    Time, life, death, religion, New York City, and New York money are big topics to tackle in a 45 minute pop album, and Modern Vampires doesn’t even attempt answers to the questions it raises. Instead, it’s content to expound upon the Vampire Weekend aesthetic in inventive, imaginative, and undeniably successful ways.
  15. May 2, 2013
    90
    Full of heart and full of ideas, it’s big, clever and brilliantly odd.
  16. May 9, 2013
    90
    The new record by Vampire Weekend is the best alternative pop album you will hear this year. Unselfconscious, technically brilliant in a way that crucially you will never actually notice, shimmering with beautiful, strange melodies and just a small smidge of actual bonkers.
  17. 91
    When everything here lines up the right way--and it more often than not, it does--Modern Vampires is the perfect album for the coming Atlantic summer. Think of it like saltwater taffy: bright and sweet, with plenty to chew on.
  18. May 10, 2013
    80
    While cathartic moments of release abound, for the most part, Rostam Batmanglij and co-producer Ariel Reichstadt opt for understated beauty.
  19. 100
    Each verse/chorus/bridge/​intro melody, each lyric straight or knotty, each sound effect playful or perverse (or both)‑-each is pleasurable in itself and aptly situated in the sturdy songs and tracks, so that the whole signifies without a hint of concept.
  20. May 17, 2013
    80
    This album is as life-affirming a piece of music as anything else you’ll hear this year: there’s nothing more uplifting than a good band getting better.
  21. May 16, 2013
    76
    They’ve moved beyond that convenient pigeonhole from when that Blue CD-R first made the rounds, but they’re, well, a much more modern affair now.
  22. May 14, 2013
    88
    A brave, surprising third effort that's both challenging and confident, catchy but progressive, expertly imagined and executed.
  23. May 10, 2013
    95
    The group's warmest, most charitable album to date. [No. 98, p.61]
  24. May 20, 2013
    80
    Here and elsewhere, Vampire Weekend's growing self-assurance serves the needs of the song without playing to their perceived strengths. [Jun 2013, p.84]
  25. May 13, 2013
    80
    Amid all this existential and transcendental pondering, there’s the sense that Vampire Weekend have re-imagined themselves as the sort of band who could be doing this well into their 30s.
  26. 70
    This is a gorgeous album, but sacrifices had to be made. They’ve undeniably lost something that made them special in the first place.
  27. May 15, 2013
    90
    Modern Vampires of the City is nothing short of a pop music achievement, a standout album in a year full of standout albums.
  28. May 16, 2013
    80
    The achievement here is that each song feels like its own distinct world.
  29. May 7, 2013
    87
    Modern Vampires is Rostam Batmanglij’s album. Like a character actor stealing the movie from the lead, he pretty much owns these songs, filling them with eccentric flourishes of sound that are both jarring and perfect.
  30. May 13, 2013
    93
    Along with the more lived-in sonics, Modern Vampires has the band taking a leap forward into emotional directness. Koenig and Batmanglij truly seem of one mind here, as the vocals and music interact with each other in an effortless flow.
  31. May 14, 2013
    80
    For those who have been gripped or at least mildly interested by the band’s progression over its first two LPs will find Modern Vampires of the City to be an expansive, illustrious work that--while clearly a 21st century recording--is a reminder of the gift musicians have to leave the door in one decade and come back in another.
  32. 100
    Nothing feels out-of-place or out-of-sync, everything clicks together in flourishes of simple brilliance.
  33. 80
    Overall, Modern Vampires of The City sounds fantastic, but not overproduced.
  34. May 13, 2013
    80
    Those who think that somewhere, a liberal arts college is missing its creative writing teachers, might not be surprised this is a clever record. It's also, however, one that glows with tangible human warmth, heartbeat never failing to keep pace with its brainwaves. [Jun 2013, p.91]
  35. Jun 4, 2013
    60
    While MVOTC doesn’t represent a seismic leap from their earlier material, the general feeling is of a much more considered collection, with greater emphasis on song craft.
  36. May 7, 2013
    90
    Vampire Weekend have gotten better at just about everything they do.
  37. May 13, 2013
    90
    The songs may be dense and literary, but they're also immediately potent on a purely visceral level, striking a perfect balance that makes for what's perhaps the best album in a year already thick with great material.
  38. May 13, 2013
    80
    Like art, Vampires is dense; like pop, it seems to float in effortlessly from some place you're sure you've been, but by some trick of déjà vu eludes your conscious brain.
  39. May 13, 2013
    50
    As it stands, it’s just another Vampire Weekend album, except the songs are less catchy and more sterile this time around.
  40. May 14, 2013
    100
    The band itself probably doesn’t know quite what that is yet, but as a capstone to what it’s done so far, Modern Vampires Of The City feels pretty perfect.
  41. May 9, 2013
    70
    Though Modern Vampires Of The City is flawed--there’s no stand-out single, and the low-key ‘Obvious Bicycle’ is far too sombre to justify its billing as the opening track--repeat listens to this third act are rewarded.
  42. May 9, 2013
    80
    Vampire Weekend suddenly sound like a band in it for the long haul.
  43. 60
    Experimentation is generally to be applauded, but too often here it works to the detriment of the songs.
  44. It happens to be their most cohesive and convincing effort yet.
  45. 70
    That lack of wildness makes Modern Vampires of The City, while always thoughtful and often beautiful, the least captivating of their three albums.
  46. May 13, 2013
    80
    Their erudition, musical and lyrical, remains a pleasure, but what convinces on Modern Vampires are their beating hearts.
  47. May 17, 2013
    80
    Modern Vampires quite often touches brilliance, and does so without audibly straining for 'maturity' or pushing hard to be some po-faced Great American Album.
  48. May 20, 2013
    60
    It’s an honest delivery, but they are essentially preaching to the choir.
  49. May 2, 2013
    90
    A more enjoyable pairing of words and music this year it's hard to imagine. [Jun 2013, p.63]
  50. May 14, 2013
    65
    Modern Vampires of the City contains something no other Vampire Weekend album has--boring songs. Trilogies don't often end well, and while there's more good than bad, it's still disappointing when listeners know what could have been.
  51. May 14, 2013
    90
    Modern Vampires of the City is their best album to date, one that should not only maintain their level of popularity but elevate it.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 54
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 54
  3. Negative: 1 out of 54
  1. May 14, 2013
    10
    Haters beware. This is the album that change your entire outlook on Vampire Weekend. Gone are the peppy, Afrobeats and Synths that dominated the first two records. Gone (for the most part) are the ivy-leaguer lyrical references. Instead Vampire Weekend gives us their most concise, beautiful, and varied album. Difficult without actually challenging the listener, because the pop hooks are so good. Through and Through it's still a Vampire Weekend album; you can hear it in the "M79" strings of "Don't Lie" or the up-tempo "a-Punk" beat of "Unbelievers," but this album takes those ideas found in previous albums and takes them in interesting directions. There is never a dull moment on the record; the songs continually shift and distort until their conclusion. I can't think of a better album or direction Vampire Weekend could have taken. Easily their best work yet, and quite possibly the album of the year already for 2013. Full Review »
  2. May 14, 2013
    9
    This is one of the most beautiful album of 2013. Unique and really interesting lyrics with a beautiful rhythms. These rhythms are really catch the human's soul and don't release until song is ending. Unquestioningly that's a catchy album. Love it. Full Review »
  3. May 14, 2013
    8
    Modern Vampires Of The City is Vampire Weekend's evolution in sound yet again, providing a more chilled, eerie vibe than their past two albums. While die-hard fans of Contra and the debut may find it harder to get into, it's destined to grow on you after spinning it a few times. Full Review »