The People vs. Vampire Weekend

How a band so polite and so rapturous inspired that much hatred

Don't hate the player, etc.
Vorrasi
Don't hate the player, etc.

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Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend, #2 album

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Vampire Weekend make more amusing and thought-provoking play from the signifiers of wealth and exclusivity than any rapper I've heard these past several years. (But then, Vampire Weekend has more interesting rhythms than any hip-hop record I've heard these past several years.) Their shit is tight, like their asses, because flawlessness is part of their aesthetic game plan—it's what the record had to be and is. (The only defect I can find is that the lyric doesn't actually read as Peter Gabriel II.) How righteous that 2008 should have started with some literally African-American music to herald the election of a literally African-American president. Funny, too, how all the attributes that describe (and, in some eyes, condemn) the band—cultivated and cosmopolitan, calm and collected, cautious and clean-cut—apply so amply to Obama. It's as if history had twisted its way around to arrive at a place where the virtues in our polity are also the virtues in our pop music. Unlike sax addict Bill C. or faux-populist George W., our new prez doesn't have a rock 'n' roll bone in his body, and neither do Vampire Weekend. This year's best, their album is not Gossip Girl set to music, but a soundtrack for the liberal elite taking over.

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