Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend
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First, the album is so good that even people who no idea what the lyrics are about will love it. (I shack up with one such person.)
It starts with a beautiful song about being underemployed and living at home with parents. Visions of the "Occupy" movement and other Millenial generation angst come to mind, as the whole thing takes on a silly vibe. To keep us on edge, the specific worries of "Obvious Bicycle" give way to bigger existential concerns with "Unbelievers". "Step" is probably about music itself, although I've seen a million analyses of the lyrics and still am not sure. (I don't care, because "Wisdom's a gift but you'd trade it for youth. Age is an honor, it's still not the truth.")
"Diane Young" had to be called this, because it is making fun of Ke$ha. The big thrill here is the connection between this song and "Don't Lie", which is just sick in every way. So, let us seize the day of "youth" and not die young...it's about to get really good!
"A gardener told me some plants move, But I could not believe it 'til me and Hannah Hunt saw crawling vines and weeping willows"...Are you F'ing kidding me? How can anyone come up with lyrics so magical? Songs like this keep us grounded in real human process, as we deal with the universal concepts that weigh on our collective minds. Next up is my least favorite. This is the song all the other pop bands would probably write, if they were this talented musically. We have angst, so hold me in your "everlasting arms", blah -blah-blah... Then, we get down right weird. I have no idea what is going on in "Finger Back", but I really like it. Perhaps, it is about our love of torture (and I once had a child sit on my finger and made it bend back...it has become lore of vacations past!).
Onto the deeply religious pieces..."Worship You" must be about wondering how god is a meanie and loving at the same time. Jews must think that their god has a sick sense of humor! So, back at YA WEH! "Ya Hey" is so funny and serious...brilliant...(p.s. I'm blogging, so I haven't said anything blasphemous. I'm as clever as Ezra.)
The album slides to a close with a treatise on history repeating itself over and over, all through the eyes of a Manhattan viewpoint. (Historical fact of interest...Indians originally "leased" the land on Manhattan to the Dutch for 99 years, or so they thought!) A beautiful calmness brings us back to reality, and it ends.
Basically, Vampire Weekend created a masterpiece with their third album. And, it seems so effortless.