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Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut earned the group a million great reviews, even more screaming fans, and, of course, a legion of haters.

Their sophomore album is full of the same elements that made their first release so addictive: upbeat keyboard melodies, tribal drumbeats, and lead singer Ezra Koenig's silky smooth vocals. This time, though, they sound a little less carefree and a little more mature, possibly because they've abandoned such groan-inducing lyrics as "You spilled kefir on your keffiyeh." Songs like "Giving Up the Gun" and the first single "Cousins" are just as danceable as anything you'd hear on pop radio, but slower tunes like "Diplomat's Son" show off the band's chill-out side. With Contra, Vampire Weekend sound like they've traded their Columbia dorm rooms for swanky, grown-up apartments downtown.

 

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