When Vampire Weekend write ballads they follow them up with barreling, kinetic punk jams. When Vampire Weekend close an album they close a fucking album and they close it with strings and looping keyboard and piano and Dave Longstreth-style guitar and falsetto Hegelian mediations on the dialectic. “Never choose between two.” The very nature of this band’s existence is choosing between two – yes and no, love and hate, brilliant pop music and overrated shit. Hegel would say that the synthesis of two choices serves to enhance a kind of collective knowledge. But what does that have to do with breaking up with someone?
In our review Adam Offitzer called “I Think Ur A Contra” the band’s “technically “best” track to date.” Maybe this is true. On Contra Vampire Weekend have just gotten better at what they were already doing well. “I Think Ur A Contra” is musically and lyrically mature, the kind of maturity that comes with age, with knowledge – not the kind of knowledge you learn in college (the kind of knowledge that defined VW’s first record), but with knowledge, wisdom, the kind of thing you learn from dealing with the real world every day, every minute, every second. Nothing is so easy as I am, and you’re not. Nothing is so easy as choosing between two. “I Think Ur a Contra” functions as a mission statement and a definition for a band that has been defined alternatively as the saviors of indie pop music and as bourgeois, exploitative cultural imperialists. But nothing is so easy as choosing between two, and Vampire Weekend are neither of these things. Vampire Weekend is a band making excellent music.