#6 on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar
Contra by Vampire Weekend
We’re now into the albums that will live on past their debut years, looked back at fondly with memories of good feeling. The album at number six has been out since January 11, so in terms of what’s listed on the Musical Bacon Calendar, it’s been out a long time. But even with that length of time gone by, Contra, the sophomore effort from Vampire Weekend, still finds its way into the rotation at least once a week. It came out in the dead of winter, but it feels like summer every time you listen to it.
After listening to the debut album exhaustively for two years, I was pleasantly surprised that they could take their unoriginal sound, expand on it, and make it even better. Bouncy, jangly guitars over ska-like beats extends the pattern Vampire Weekend started on their smash debut album, also called Vampire Weekend. They’ve fully embraced the sound started by Paul Simon on his Graceland album, and taken it to new heights. Contra is a great album that will be listened to well into the future.
The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, and subsequently earned a grammy for “Best Alternative Album.” According to Wikipedia, the band, along with their record company XL Recordings and photographer Tod Scott Brody, are being sued by Kirsten Kennis, the model on the cover of Contra, over the use of her image.
Vampire Weekend themselves are the type of band that are begging to be hated by more than just the model on the cover of their album. But it’s damn near impossible to do so. Four guys, dressed in pastel-colored polo shirts and khakis, with eternal smiles on their faces — I just want to punch that smile right off their faces. But try as I might, the music they make is undeniably catchy, indelibly delightful, unbelievably timeless. It’s pure joy, wrapped up in 1s and 0s.
7. Go by Jónsi
8. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
9. Gorilla Manor by the Local Natives
10. The Head and the Heart by the Head and the Heart
11. Special Affections by Diamond Rings
12. Treats by Sleigh Bells
13. Write About Love by Belle & Sebastian
14. Wild Smile by Suckers
15. Learning by Perfume Genius
16. Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene
17. Expo 86 by Wolf Parade
18. One Life Stand by Hot Chip
19. Big Echo by The Morning Benders
20. Here’s To Taking It Easy by Phosphorescent
21. This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
22. The Mistress by Yellow Ostrich
23. Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter
24. Been Listening by Johnny Flynn
25. The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
26. Lisbon by The Walkmen
27. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel
28. All Day by Girl Talk
29. A Storm – A Tree – My Mother’s Head by Bobby Bare Jr.
30. 03 to TEN by Knathan Ryan
31. In This Light On This Evening by Editors