Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Fully realized debut albums like Vampire Weekend come along once in a great while, and these songs show that this band is smart, but not too smart for their own good.
  2. It's probably not substantial enough that it will stick in my head all year (and possibly not even until the ground thaws), but it is a highly enjoyable pop album from a young group who are riding some hype and getting slapped with backlash at the same time.
  3. Thier debut album is one of the most inventive in recent memory. [Apr 2008, p.153]
  4. As if on cue amid the recent critical hemming and hawing over indie rock's cultural appropriations drops Vampire Weekend's official debut with enough justified buzz to render the entire debate moot.
  5. Listeners are only too lucky to get a hot breath of summer fun in these cold winter months.
  6. 80
    Vampire Weekend’s version of globalization is too tightly and smartly woven to be mere dilettantism, and at times Koenig is emphatic, even desperate, about escaping white-bred familiarity.
  7. At its best, Vampire Weekend takes the exceedingly familiar template of indie rock and invigorates it with a chiming guitar sound that suggests the band has been spending its downtime browsing
  8. Fun and fresh enough on the first couple listens, it remains to be seen whether Vampire Weekend can find long-term favour with the listeners and critics so taken with them at present.
  9. This is a magnificent debut, filled with endless melodies, memorable hooks and plenty of toe-tapping moments.
  10. It's rather a genuinely exuberant, joyously infectious and sheerly celebratory affair, its tribal drums, parping keyboards and rippling, brassy guitars offset by sweet vocal harmonies and reverb-laden solos, with Koenig's witty and literate lyrics marking out their crucial difference.
  11. The production throughout Vampire Weekend is perfect, holding all the various threads together as a coherent whole that manages to sound simple without ever being underwhelming.
  12. Vampire Weekend is an exemplar of contemporary establishment indie rock, sandblasted clean but striking a dirty pose nonetheless.
  13. It’s ecstatic music, surely; and intense, too, even as it’s joyful.
  14. Vampire Weekend certainly have one of the best band names I’ve heard in ages, although their music unfortunately proves less exciting than one might have hoped.
  15. What is key to this album's effectiveness is how Vampire Weekend's rhythmic momentum enervates the filler, turning another band's less flamboyant 'Campus' into a cymbal-crash-on-every-hit mini-epic, or the nearly irritating 'Blake's Got a New Face' into drunken singalong.
  16. Affecting a clarity and delight that pleases the many and confounds the some, their lyrically alluring, structurally hop-skip-and-jumping songs aren't deep. They're just thoughtful fun.
  17. In places almost carnivalesque, this is a good times album that celebrates positive aspects of the world.
  18. Their strength is that, musically as well as sartorially, they’re unafraid to plunder and repurpose styles previously considered naffer than Bluetooth headsets.
  19. Vampire Weekend is indie rock with its edges sanded off, polished to a clean, sparkling sheen.
  20. The Vampire Weekend crew, who met at Columbia University, have clearly heard enough soukous and highlife to cop a few guitar licks to cloak their orch-pop pretensions, but almost by accident, the way their chamber strings are played over jaunty grooves makes for an engaging concoction, at least for a few spins.
  21. At less than 40 minutes long, Vampire Weekend sounds paradoxically both brimming with confidence and something put down as a marker for the future.
  22. This cosmopolitan quartet has streamlined ska, post-punk, chamber music and Afropop into a glorious ultramodern groove.
  23. Bring any baggage you want to this record, and it still returns nothing but warm, airy, low-gimmick pop, peppy, clever, and yes, unpretentious--four guys who listened to some Afro-pop records, picked up a few nice ideas, and then set about making one of the most refreshing and replayable indie records in recent years.
  24. Not since Talking Heads bowed out with their masterful 1988 swan song Naked has NYC been so dutifully represented by such a melodically robust collection as the 11 that comprise this eponymous redux of Vampire Weekend’s acclaimed “Blue CD-R” demo.
  25. Vampire Weekend’s debut comes across as a confident, precise, and, for better and worse, mature collection.
  26. Extremely inventive, a litttle uptight and slightly high on their own cleverness, Vampire Weekend are the musical equivalent of a Wes Anderson movie. [Mar 2008, p.109]
  27. On their debut, Vampire Weekend mostly earn points the old-fashioned way: by writing likable songs you'll be glad to revisit next month.
  28. Vampire Weekend's eponymous debut, with its wide range of references rationed across a collection of brief pop morsels, proves the early fascination was no fluke.
  29. 80
    Vampire Weekend have made a truely fresh, fun, and smart record. [Feb 2008, p.91]
  30. Vampire Weekend banks on showering its tribal pop with lyrics poised for literary analysis, skimping pretentious by appearing completely natural.
  31. The young band's saving grace is compactness, which not only saves thousands of dollars in kora-player and backup-singer bills, but also keeps things alert and accessible.
  32. Behind the penny loafers and songs about commas, there's a bold band that can balance dextrous originality with an innate pop sensibility.
  33. The sheer cleverness of every track is endearing. But it’s also brittle; these songs could use just a little more heart.
  34. By the end of the album’s blissful, sparse, empty-Saharan-landscape closer 'The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance,' perfection doesn’t seem to matter much anymore--especially when your mind’s too preoccupied on starting Vampire Weekend again from the beginning.
  35. 80
    Cosmopolitan, anglophile, afrobeat--Vampire Weekend are in an Ivy League of their own.
  36. This is likely to be the most fun release of the year. [Winter 2008, p.84]
  37. 70
    Although the vocals initially may spark fears of self-indulgent been there’s and done that’s, the musical beast which duels with the lyrics stays on point and goes beyond the point in miraculous fashion.
  38. 80
    Vampire Weekend have suceeded in putting the hips back in hipster. [Mar 2008, p.98]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 100
  2. Negative: 8 out of 100
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    It's rare to find an album as perfect as this. Vampire Weekend has such a unique sound and flavor if you will that it makes it impossible not to love. A very impressive start to a very impressive new band. Full Review »
  2. Feb 8, 2014
    Genre: Alternative
    The debut album from Vampire Weekend quickly established them as one of my favourite bands. A great mix of upbeat and
    slower tempo tunes that are all stamped with their own unique quality. Full Review »
  3. Nov 25, 2013
    Vampire Weekend gets serious praise for setting themselves apart from every other contemporary band, using an assortment of instruments ranging from baroque sounds to electronica. Nearly every beat on the album works, and the music isn't quite so eager to raise its voice as, say Arctic Monkeys or Muse. You can be quiet and interesting at the same time.

    That said, there's quite a bit of filler going on here. Come on, Vampire Weekend. If you can use your abilities to make some of the tracks on here really interesting, you should be able to make ALL of them interesting. I can't help but think how much better this could be than it already is. Perhaps this needs some time to grow on me, but I've scrutinized the music here for more than half an hour, and left underwhelmed. On top of that, it gets especially annoying whenever Ezra sprinkles his falsetto all over a song, the prime offender being "One (Blake's Got a New Face)", an otherwise really good track.

    But this really isn't all bad. I would definitely revisit some of these tracks a little more in the future, especially "Walcott". There are a bunch of good songs to hear, but few GREAT ones.

    I give this a 7 out of 10. Pretty good, but my bar was higher.

    Full Review »