Vampire Weekend: Father Of The Bride (Columbia)
Verdict: Inspired but scatter-gun
Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig would once take umbrage at the chants of ‘Graceland! Graceland!’ that greeted his New York band whenever they played songs from their self-titled debut album live.
He was flattered by the comparisons with Paul Simon’s 1986 masterpiece, but felt they also suggested that his own songs lacked originality.
But Vampire Weekend have never had narrow artistic horizons. Having formed in 2002 at Manhattan’s Columbia University, where band members studied English, Russian, music and economics, they embellished any unintended Paul Simon references with chamber strings and indie-rock guitars. They were artistically ambitious back then; and even more so now.
Back after a six-year break in which Koenig has produced a track for Beyoncé, worked with Beninese star Angélique Kidjo and become a dad for the first time, the band are bolder than ever on their fourth album.
At 18 tracks, Father Of The Bride, out today, is a sprawling and sometimes scatter-gun affair, but it’s littered with sparks of inspiration.