Earlier this summer, I stumbled upon this band. I thought "hm...Oxford Comma....comparisons to The Shins...tasty pop....yes!!!!". I gave a listen to "A-Punk", "Oxford Comma" and "Mansard Roof", and I immedietely bought the entire album and I have no regrets.
With the opening beats and perfectly executed keyboard notes on "Mansard Roof", the sharp, high voice of lead singer Ezra Koenig, it is becoming more clear that there is lots of hope for this generation of music. I continued listening, and I wasn't disapointed with any song. Track after track of champer-pop/new wave/indie/afro-beat pop, I realised that this album is DEFINITELY going to be on the top 10 albums of this year, and even the decade. The 4 piece group from New York met while attending Columbia University in New York. Evidence of their college life is sprinkled throughout songs; on "One" he sings "Oh your collegiate grief has left you...". Their influences are even more impressive; African pop music (this is obvious in "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" and "One") and Western Classical music (this is obvious in "M-79" and "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance"). While they stand out in their own right, I would compare them to The Police and The Shins. With their African beats, intelligent pop, and the guitar never taking up too much volume, crafty bass lines, it makes for a near perfect album.
- Mansard Roof -The tale of an eavesdropper or peeping-Tom, and an Argentine fleet, 4 stars
- Oxford Comma -"Who gives a fuck about an oxford comma?" That has to be the greatest opening line in any song ever. Not only does this song combine their witty songwriting, but also their intellect, 5 ginormous stars
- A-Punk -Their most Police-esque song. Fast pace, up-beat, and catchy as hell. 5 stars
- Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa -The epitomy of their African influences, this song tells the story of "a young girl", while sneaking in references to Peter Gabriel, Louis Vuitton, Benneton, and Reggaeton. 5 giant stars
- M-79 -The epitomy of their Classical influences, and throwing in their collegiate references. This song is a perfect example of their musical experimentation while still maintaining commercial stability. The swirling orchestra instrumentation blends in perfectly with the resereved vocals, crunchy guitar and precise basslines, 5 stars
- Campus -College romance, ahh how sweet. "How am I supposed to pretend/I never want to see you again?", everyone can identify with this song. The bassline rolls through the song keeping it grounded. 4 stars
- Bryn -The trebly guitar starts out this song just right. One of the more guitar-oriented songs on the album, it comes at the right time. Possibly another College romance, this time directly referring to her. 4 stars
- One (Blake's Got a New Face) -One of the catchiest choruses in a long long time. This chorus will have you repeating after Ezra whether you like it or not. 4 stars
- I Stand Corrected -Although not the best song on the album, it's still a good one. It pretty much epitomizes the feeling of being wrong, in just the somber tone you'd expect. 4 stars
- Walcott -This song tells the plotline of a film that is the band's namesake. The driving piano riff leads the song, and at the end a mixture of climactic guitar, driving bass, crashing drums, and swirling piano take this song into an epic finale. 4 stars
- The Kids Don't Stand A Chance -The drummer shines throughout the entire album, but now he gets to start a song, woo! Once the bass comes in, the vocals follow suite. This song is somewhat of a "My Generation" for the 2000's. "With pure Egpytian cotton, the kids don't stand a chance", I agree. After each stanza, the song takes off into a classical-rock instrumental; They couldn't have chose a better way to end the album, this song leaves somewhat of a great ellipsis as to what's next, 5 stars
Flagship song: "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance"