I need to preface this review by saying that I don't know a whole lot about music and this is the first music review I've ever written. I like music. I listen to it whenever I'm driving in my car or just hanging out in my apartment, but I don't think I could ever compose a melody. Write a lyric, maybe, but that's about it. I don't know anything about instruments or how to play one, either. The most I can do is play "The Entertainer" with one hand on a keyboard poorly. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's get down to business with a review of Vampire Weekend's new album "Modern Vampires of the City."
If there's one thing Vampire Weekend is known for it's their obscure lyrics with hidden meanings. Trying to decipher one of their songs nearly takes the skill of a cryptologist, but that's part of the fun of listening to their songs, finding out what the lyrics mean to the band members and then taking those lyrics and letting them apply to your own life.
Take their single "Diane Young" for example, which is a play on the phrase dying young. It doesn't exactly take an IQ of 200 to figure this out, but it's representative of the playfulness they take in their lyrics.
"Ya Hey" is in the same vein, which throughout the song begins to sound like Yahweh, which in the Jewish faith is the name of God. A brief inspection of the lyrics shows the song is definitely about God and faith. Through the fire and through the flames/You won't even say your name/Only "I am that I am"/But who could ever live that way. It's an interesting song that has a great melody.
The theme of faith is tackled in more than just "Ya Hey," though. It's also present on "Unbelievers," another catchy song.
But that's how most of the songs on the album are, like their previous albums, there's not a single song that I could point to and say I don't like. If the lyrics aren't enough to grab your attention and make you analyze them, the tune will surely get your feet tapping.
Even "Step," which has some of the most puzzling lyrics on the whole album, is still one of the best, despite its beclouding nature. I've been listening to this song for months and still can't quite get my finger on what it all means, but it's something I plan on continuing to examine.
The album itself is not just about God and lyrics that rise above rational thought. It contains themes of love, growing old and the pains of youth.
It's truly a great album and one that is a welcome addition to the Vampire Weekend canon.