Only God Was Above Us by Vampire Weekend album review by David Saxum for Northern Transmissions


Only God Was Above Us

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, slated for release this Friday, is a meticulously crafted masterpiece that captivates from the first note. It marks a triumphant return for the band, showcasing their trademark fusion of genres and skillful songwriting. As you delve into the album, it’s like visiting your childhood home, only to find it subtly transformed by the passage of time. The exterior has been painted, and the hedges have grown, creating an intriguing atmosphere of discovery. Each track invites exploration, beckoning you to uncover the emotions tied to old memories.

Opening with the unapologetic declaration of “Fuck the world” in “Ice Cream Piano,” Vampire Weekend sets a defiant tone that reverberates throughout the album. As the album unfolds, it becomes clear that this declaration is more than just a provocative lyric – it’s a reflection of the band’s unapologetic approach to tackling contemporary issues and themes. From the eclectic mix of sounds and styles to the poignant lyrical commentary, each track builds upon this foundation, offering a multifaceted exploration of the human experience in the modern age.

Throughout the album, the band effortlessly weaves together elements of indie rock, pop, and even hip-hop, creating an album that’s rich and diverse. Tracks like “Connect” and “The Surfer” showcase their versatility with innovative instrumentation that transcends genres. But it’s not just about musical production – Vampire Weekend’s trademark thoughtful lyrics add another layer of depth to an already rich album. From introspective ballads to anthemic sing-alongs, each song is a journey in itself, seamlessly weaving between classic arrangement and bold experimentation.

One of the album’s greatest strengths is its sense of nostalgia. Listening to it feels like revisiting an old friend, with each track evoking memories of times gone by. Whether it’s the wistful longing of “Capricorn” or the bittersweet optimism of “Hope,” there’s a sense of warmth and familiarity that permeates the entire album. It’s like coming home after a long journey, a feeling of comfort and belonging that’s hard to find anywhere else.

But don’t mistake nostalgia for complacency – this album is anything but predictable. Vampire Weekend is constantly pushing the boundaries of their sound, experimenting with new ideas and concepts. With nods to their past work layered on top of stories of their 4th band member, New York City, there’s always something new to discover with each listen. It’s an album that rewards repeated listens, revealing new layers and nuances with each playthrough.

At its core, “Only God Was Above Us” is a reflection of life itself. It’s an album that grapples with the complexities of existence, exploring the highs and lows of the human experience with honesty and empathy. Yet, amidst the profound introspection, the album also offers moments of pure enjoyment, with infectious melodies and vibrant instrumentation that make it equally suitable for background listening. Ultimately, “Only God Was Above Us” stands as an example to the band’s ability to craft music that is both deeply meaningful and endlessly enjoyable.

Pre-order Only God Was Above Us by Vampire Weekend HERE


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