Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008
I spent so much time bracing for the backlash of this record I forgot how fucking good it was. It's in my blood to scoff at privileged white kids who get to do whatever they want, and when they're copping African music it makes my stomach turn just a little bit more. I've been learning to be a better music critic, which has meant abandoning my own self-righteous opinions and views in favor of just listening to a record and judging the music. The ultimate question is: Is this good? The ultimate answer is: Hell yes. It's fun, it's light but lovingly crafted and so fucking precise. And it's one of the best pop records I've heard in years. The hooks are off the...well, hook. I got to interview Ezra Koenig and bassist Chris Baio with Jordan Walters before their show at Liberty Hall a year or two ago and it really sidelined my opinions, that these guys were pretentious fucks. While the bassist seemed like a bit of a dick, Ezra seemed really nice, sweet even. I remember he was playing the piano in the basement when we walked in. There was an honesty to his demeanor that made me realize that this is an honest record. I can't tell you how many times I listened to “Campus” while walking from Budig to my house during my last year of college. I distinctly remember matching up the line “I'm sleeping on the balcony after class” with the balconies on the alumni center at 13th & Jayhawk Blvd. Or listening to “Oxford Comma” while smoking under the big steps at Wescoe in between English classes. Or mouthing the words to “I Stand Corrected” somewhere else on campus. In short, this still sounds really fresh.