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I enjoyed the cover they did of Radiohead’s Exit Music (For a Film) from Stereogum Presents… OKX: A Tribute to OK Computer, and that is saying a great deal because I am SUPER sensitive about Radiohead.
In fact, that was my introduction to Vampire Weekend and they seem alright to me.
The sense that I get from the comments on this website (and a few others) is that Vampire Weekend is a band that is used to establish a listener’s musical credibility or something. Either you’re cool if you love them, or you’re cool if you find mildly clever ways insult them and those who would dare enjoy their music.
To what purpose?
I feel like I am in the middle of an incredibly ridiculous gang war whenever I come across an article that references Vampire Weekend and the comments haven’t been disabled.
Music is such a personal thing that attempting to establish your coolness factor by lambasting or applauding bands on message boards and in commentary sections, seems less like an attempt at genuine dialog and more like a way to fuel feelings of shame, inadequacy and/or anger (sometimes all three) among those who like the band, or self-righteousness and vindication for those who agree with the nay-sayer(s).
My question about this simple: why?
I enjoy honest thoughtful critique of art just as much as anyone, but I have yet to read a criticism of Vampire Weekend’s music that doesn’t rely on insults about their wealth and privilege and/or their appeal to the hipster set. Admittedly, I haven’t scoured the Internets looking for this information (I do have a life), but what I have read raises a few questions for me, namely: Do artist seem less genuine if they didn’t come from poor or middle class upbringings? Are artist responsible for the audience they attract?
What’s a LiLo?
I would like to amend the second to the last sentence from my comment above: Rather than say “screw the rest who simply don’t get it.” (which isn’t very nice and wasn’t quite what I was necessarily meaning to say) let me instead say the following:
Thank you MGMT for being the band I suspected you were, may you continue to explore and challenge yourselves and your audience. For those who are unwilling or unable to take that journey with you, may they find some other music or art form that gives them as much pleasure as the first listening of your latest offering has given me.
Yeah, that’s much better.
Love man. Just Love.
I should preface this review by saying that the very first song by MGMT that I heard was ‘Weekend Wars.’
Okay, here goes…
There are times when I find the English language sorely inadequate when trying to express my immense pleasure. However, I am grateful that I can at least make a cursory attempt and say that Congratulations is everything that I had hoped for from MGMT. My love for Oracular Spectacular’s “Weekend Wars” and “Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters” “4th Dimensional Transition” and “The Handshake” which I found to be quite superior to “Kids” and “Electric Feel” (not to discount the relevance of those songs) has found in their sophomore album, amazingly thoughtful and unapologetic musicians, who have transcended the pop-culture exigencies for mindless (yet highly danceable) fluff, and managed to demonstrate that they are artisans rather than another set of audio-pedestrians. That is not to suggest that their more popular fare can be remotely classified, as being unimaginative. If you were paying attention at all, you’d be hard pressed to claim that any of MGMT’s lyrics are devoid of poignancy and depth (yes, even ‘Electric Feel’).
I am simply saying that in Congratulations, more discerning listeners will find that their musicianship has matched their lyrical complexity so that the ideas they are trying to convey aren’t as escapable as they might be whilst shaking your body on the dance floor.
Thank you MGMT for being the band I suspected you were and screw the rest who simply don’t get it.
Oh, and ‘Siberian Breaks’ is probably the sickest shit I have heard in a while. The lyric: ‘if you’re conscious you must be depressed, or at least cynical’ is worth my money any day!
What’s a Ke$ha?
Notably absent from this list would be Röyksopp’s ‘Junior.’ Although, I suppose if you must limit yourself to 50, you are going to have to gloss over a few.
Listening to Animal Collective’s ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ creates an inescapable atmosphere of intense and long lasting euphoria from its first notes, and like true art of its kind, caused me to transcend my physical self and recall that there is still some joy and beauty to be found in this world.
I cannot think of a more deserving album for the top spot.