Vampire Weekend are in the unenviable position of releasing a sophomore album after a much-hyped then semi-backlashed debut. Titled “Contra” Vampire Weekend’s second LP unashamedly embraces the African influences they so deftly married with jauntily unhinged guitar pop the first time around.
Built on a palette of teetering melodies, hypnotic chanting, tribal polyrhythms, xylophones and stop-on-a-dime head rushes the whitest boys alive offer a less accessible but no less hooky collection of tracks. A formula which should see the preppy quartet dodge the sophomore slump bullet with a well-timed jerk and the ability to seem charming when all signs point to pretentious. Actually Ezra Koenig’s wistful lyrics may illicit some eye rolls with their references to font types, the aristocracy and modern art. But he sang about punctuation marks on their debut so dropping Futura references is comparatively less pretentious right?