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Vampire Weekend 

Contra (XL)

Let's all take a collective breath and calm the hype down. Sure, this is a fine and fun album, and Afropop sounds fresh in January, but party band Vampire Weekend is being treated like the second coming in madras shorts and penny loafers. The Brooklyn prepsters are expert at repackaging West African rhythms---this time they add more Latin American sounds, hip-hop, ska, calypso and reggae, combined with '80s electronic happiness to the stew---with silly lyrics about rich girls, fonts and snacks. And there's the requisite M.I.A. sample ("Diplomat's Son"). It's well-packaged, clean and safe, not weird or eccentric, as some critics have suggested. And that's just fine. But if you want new groovy world dance music, check out fellow Brooklynite Nickodemus' remix album Sun People.

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Vol 25, No 52
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