Rolling Stone - p.783.5 stars out of 5
-- "[They have] a suave sound that incorporates ska, New Wave and Afro-pop....Vampire Weekend mostly earn points the old-fashioned way: by writing likable songs you'll be glad to revisit next month."
Rolling Stone - p.89Ranked #10
in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "Casual as a cardigan, willfully optimistic, ultratuneful and surprisingly danceable, VAMPIRE WEEKEND is built to last."
Spin - p.914 stars out of 5
-- "Vampire Weekend have made a truly fresh, fun, and smart record....They spit witty lyrics on subjects they clearly know..."
Spin - p.50Ranked #14
in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "What really matters is the sheer youthful effervescence and musical ingenuity of these Ivy Leaguers' self-titled debut."
Uncut - p.884 stars out of 5
-- "VW show themselves possessed of great strength of character, unafraid to wear hearts, or intelligence, on their sleeves."
Alternative Press - p.1533.5 stars out of 5
-- "Combining elements of ska, reggae and Afro-pop with traditional rock structures, songs like 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' have a carefree energy..."
Q (Magazine) - p.1094 stars out of 5
-- "Extremely inventive....Vampire Weekend are the musical equivalent of a Wes Anderson movie..."
Blender (Magazine) - p.1004 stars out of 5
-- "Vampire Weekend's version of globalization is to tightly and smartly woven to be mere dilettantism..."
Harp (magazine) - "[A] no-dud sleection of instant party starters....[With a] breezy, endless-weekend sound..."
Clash (magazine) (p.71) - Ranked #2
in Clash's "The 40 Best Albums of 2008" -- "[An] eclectic mix of upbeat indie, Afrobeat and 21st century baroque..."
The Word (magazine) (p.105) - "[A] debut album of quite dazzling brilliance and novelty....These songs are a joy, both intelligent and catchily uplifting."
Personnel: Ezra Koenig (vocals); Rostam Batmanglij (organ); Chris Baio (bass instrument); Christopher Tomson (drums).
Anybody who thought the seemingly bottomless well of musical breakouts from New York would have dried up by winter 2008 got a shock from the rapturous reception given this impressive debut. Foregoing hipster Brooklyn for the more collegiate Upper West Side campus of Columbia, the quartet's music follows suit. This is hardly the loft-party lysergia of their counterparts across the East River; rather, it's a catchy cocktail of ethno-rhythms, psych-lite instrumentation, twee sensibilities, and an Animal Collective-style, anything-goes spirit.
Instead of feigning street cred, the band wear their upbringing on their sleeves (literally), with songs about Cape Cod and the polo shirts and deck shoes to match. While Paul Simon's man-child melodies appear all over VAMPIRE WEEKEND, cuts such as the stand-out single "A-Punk" recall another quartet of infamous Africa-plundering, New York preppies: the Talking Heads. With guitarist Ezra Koenig's intricately inventive lines, Chris Tomson's ever-shifting grooves, and Rostam Batmanglij's faux-melodica keyboard melodies, Vampire Weekend have the musical muscle to merit the fever-pitched hype.