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Modern Vampires of the City Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 51 Critics What's this?

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8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 303 Ratings

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  • Summary: Co-produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and band member Rostam Batmanglij, the third full-length release from the indie rock quartet was inspired by New York City.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]

See all 51 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  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 dominatedHaters 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. Expand
  2. Sep 17, 2013
    10
    The best release in a summer that was packed with quality music and hype. Vampire Weekend gets better with each effort, and the drastic changeThe best release in a summer that was packed with quality music and hype. Vampire Weekend gets better with each effort, and the drastic change in musical style while still maintaining an incredibly unique identity and sound and continuing to produce masterfully impresses. Expand
  3. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    There are just so many things I can say about this album. But for the life of me I just cant figure out how to say them. All I can reallyThere are just so many things I can say about this album. But for the life of me I just cant figure out how to say them. All I can really express is how this album may be the most important piece of music I have ever listened to. There is so much beauty in the minds of Ezra, Rostam, CT, and Baio. The four of them plus additional producer Ariel Rechtscaid have created a spectacular record that I believe will never be forgot. Expand
  4. Jun 13, 2013
    9
    For a band that made its name by being the refreshingly unique, Afro-pop-influenced group that birthed the rambunctiously catchy singleFor a band that made its name by being the refreshingly unique, Afro-pop-influenced group that birthed the rambunctiously catchy single “A-Punk,” you’d think Vampire Weekend would have run out of ways to continue evolving.

    You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

    On 2013’s “Modern Vampires of the City,” the quartet of fresh-faced East Coast rockers have perfected their almost-purposefully imperfect sound and created what is the band’s most mature album to date.

    Don’t be fooled, though; the record is still filled with frontman Ezra Koenig’s classic pseudo-nonsensical lyrics, rhythms that will have you tapping your feet and musical motifs that sound like they’ve been lifted from a 17th-century baroque piece.

    Still, the group whose prior releases embodied the sheer liberty of youth seems to have taken a large step forward into the realization that as life goes on, drinking horchata in a balaclava and gazing out the window into an Ivy League courtyard start to seem less and less important.

    On “Step,” the restrained, introspective first half of the album’s dual-lead singles, Koenig sings of youth but from an entirely different perspective than on prior releases. “Wisdom's a gift, but you’d trade it for youth,” he croons.

    Similarly, on the dreamlike, borderline-stream-of-consciousness track “Hudson,” the singer again takes a stab at Father Time. “The time has come, the clock is such a drag All you who change your stripes can wrap me in the flag,” he chants all before transitioning seamlessly into the piano-laden “Young Lion,” where Koenig, in a hushed tone, repeatedly sings the line, “You take your time, young lion.”

    The album isn’t entirely filled with coming-of-age mantras about getting older, though. “Finger Back” has all the bounce of tracks like “Cousins” and “Walcott” (multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij absolutely shines on the album) and “Diane Young” (a not-so-veiled play on the words “dyin’ young”), is the perfect summer anthem especially if your summer is spent cruising with the top down of your dad’s old ’92 Saab 900 on your way to Montauk.

    For all its quirks and oddities, Vampire Weekend has gone from the tongue-in-cheek, wanderlust-obsessed band you fell in love with and finally found a home while still managing to remain true to who they’ve been all along.

    Full of heart and not afraid to take chances, “Modern Vampires of the City” proves that the band’s fleeting sound is absolutely permanent.

    Rating: 9/10
    Expand
  5. Feb 5, 2014
    9
    Few albums in 2013 were crafted as intelligently as Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City." The album bursts with creativity andFew albums in 2013 were crafted as intelligently as Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City." The album bursts with creativity and technical brilliance. Coruscating and groovy tracks like "Diane Young" and haunting but rhythmically bright tracks like "Unbelievers" and "Ya Hey" both serve as a testament to this album's efforts to not succumb to the popular trends of past musical styles, but instead, carve out its own name (while maintaining the integrity they have established in their past two albums). Vampire Weekend has set new standards that will be hard to beat for any upcoming alternative albums this year.

    FINAL SCORE: 92.5 (almost perfect -----o--------------- perfect)
    Expand
  6. Feb 22, 2014
    8
    Modern Vampires of the City is Vampire Weekend's darkest album that might lack in that familiar ground that made Vampire Weekend, VampireModern Vampires of the City is Vampire Weekend's darkest album that might lack in that familiar ground that made Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend in the first place, but after a few plays and a few more times to adjust to Vamp's more experimental and dark ground, as it turns out, Modern Vampires of the City might just be a clean page for this phenomenal, endlessly surprising and creative band. Expand
  7. Jun 15, 2013
    0
    I love the first 2 albums of Vampire Weekend. They are energetic and spontaneously played! Almost every song makes me move and believe me I amI love the first 2 albums of Vampire Weekend. They are energetic and spontaneously played! Almost every song makes me move and believe me I am not a dancer. I was looking forward for their 3rd album, the critics were positive... To be honest: it was a great disappointment the first time. I tried a 2nd time; let it rest for 2 weeks and tried a 3rd time. No improvement in my experience. Probably the album has been over produced/thought and the music does not embrace me as the first 2 albums.
    I will continue listening the first 2 albums and try to forget this bad experience. It was such a disappointment that I created a account on this fantastic site to share the thoughts of Vampire Weekend lover with you.
    Expand

See all 56 User Reviews

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