Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Critic Score
Based on 41 reviews
2013 Ratings: #46 / 1035
Year End Rank: #2
User Score
2013 Ratings: #3
Liked by 31 people
May 14, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
XL / Label
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Pretty Much Amazing

At this point, if you’re still hating on this band, you’re either trolling or just not listening. So listen. Don’t wait. 


Ultimately, Modern Vampires of the City is more thoughtful than it is dark, balancing its more serious moments with a lighter touch and more confidence than they've shown before.

A.V. Club

Unlike its two predecessors, which burned hot but only in spots, Modern Vampires feels like a rare thought-through album in the iTunes age. 


After years of engaging with anything and everything in reach, Vampire Weekend are now a primary source in their own right.

Entertainment Weekly

Modern Vampires is the perfect album for the coming Atlantic summer. Think of it like saltwater taffy: bright and sweet, with plenty to chew on.


What makes this album is that they haven’t forgotten to match this intellect and emotion with giddy, unabashed fun and mile-wide smiling.

Drowned in Sound

Modern Vampires Of The City (bloomin’ marvelous title, FYI) overshadows such petty concerns by simply being immaculate, beautifully balanced and enthralling pop music.

Consequence of Sound

It’s content to expound upon the Vampire Weekend aesthetic in inventive, imaginative, and undeniably successful ways.

Under The Radar

The album still comes as a surprise, perhaps because Vampire Weekend appeared to arrive fully formed, and to see them grow is to understand that behind all the ease and good times is tremendously hard work.

No Ripcord

Modern Vampires of the City is nothing short of a pop music achievement, a standout album in a year full of standout albums. 

Rolling Stone

Vampire Weekend have gotten better at just about everything they do.

Slant Magazine

The songs may be dense and literary, but they're also immediately potent on a purely visceral level, striking a perfect balance that makes for what's perhaps the best album in a year already thick with great material.


On "Modern Vampires," there's no reaching for the elusive crossover hit, no beating listeners over the head with overdone choruses -- just quality music, which, so far, has worked out just fine.


‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ conveys one hell of a sense of permanence from a band that once seemed ephemeral and frivolous.

If in the past you’ve admired Vampire Weekend from a distance, this is the album that should have you falling in love with them.
Spectrum Culture

While these heavy topics might make the new VW record sound like a dry philosophical treatise, rest assured, it is not. The band tackles these deep themes with their characteristic light touch.


It may not meet the high standards of Contra, but these new songs come pretty close, which is no small feat. And they may even convert a few non-believers along the way.

Beats Per Minute

Modern Vampires of the City finds the band in both familiar and unfamiliar territory, and it’s pure pleasure hearing them navigate these waters.


Like art, Vampires is dense; like pop, it seems to float in effortlessly from some place you're sure you've been, but by some trick of déjà vu eludes your conscious brain.


On their third full-length, Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend feel like a band in transition, dealing with their own mortality, and looking to trade in their sun-bleached, pigeonholed world-pop for something with teeth.


Unlike Vampire Weekend and Contra, there is a less of an emphasis on inventive takes of differing genres. The group here instead aims at a core style—best described as “old with the new”—that spins off in divergent directions.

FACT Magazine

This album is as life-affirming a piece of music as anything else you’ll hear this year: there’s nothing more uplifting than a good band getting better.

American Songwriter

It’s time to start thinking of Vampire Weekend not as upstarts but as one of the world’s best bands


The album is both more mature and personal than anything they've done previously, providing a ruminative, thoughtful take on love and death seen through the prism of temporality

The Guardian
Vampire Weekend suddenly sound like a band in it for the long haul.
NOW Magazine

Nothing seems off-limits, and yet it gels, thanks in part to constant melodic inventiveness and singer Ezra Koenig's refreshingly nerdy wordplay, which at times is as intricate and descriptive as hip-hop and elsewhere simple and tantalizingly elusive.

The Observer

Their erudition, musical and lyrical, remains a pleasure, but what convinces on Modern Vampires are their beating hearts.

The 405

Whilst it isn't the sound of a band who have shed their skin or exposed a dark underbelly, Modern Vampires Of The City is perhaps their most accomplished profusion of hooks to date.

Northern Transmissions

The different use of instrument and percussion in Modern Vampires Of The City give Vampire Weekend a striking sound, different from many of their contemporaries. Yep, they’re still ahead of the game.

The Fly

Though ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ is flawed – there’s no stand-out single, and the low-key ‘Obvious Bicycle’ is far too sombre to justify its billing as the opening track – repeat listens to this third act are rewarded.


This is a gorgeous album, but sacrifices had to be made. They’ve undeniably lost something that made them special in the first place.

The Line of Best Fit

Koenig is engaged with the world in a serious way that doesn’t preclude fun or playfulness. And even as the band’s sound has evolved, the music remains immaculately crafted and distinctively its own. 


The record’s better executed moments (‘Unbelievers’, ‘Ya Hey’) are widescreen and epic; adjectives one would never have associated with Vampire Weekend’s first two albums

The Needle Drop

Vampire Weekend's latest album is a worth sequel to 2010's Contra, presenting songs that truly stand on the merits of their memorable writing and lush instrumentation.

Under The Radar

Modern Vampires of the City contains something no other Vampire Weekend album has—boring songs. Trilogies don't often end well, and while there's more good than bad, it's still disappointing when listeners know what could have been. 

Tiny Mix Tapes

It’s safe to say that, at this point, what Vampire Weekend has to say with Modern Vampires of the City is relevant and tired all the same. It’s an honest delivery, but they are essentially preaching to the choir.

The Independent

Experimentation is generally to be applauded, but too often here it works to the detriment of the songs.


It’s really too bad, then, that Modern Vampires couldn’t have been a more interesting--or easily definable--failure. As it stands, it’s just another Vampire Weekend album, except the songs are less catchy and more sterile this time around.

"I'm only going to listen to Obvious Bicycle. I have a ton of new stuff I should be listening to..."

*in the middle of Hannah Hunt*

"Dammit, Hannah..."

Favorite Tracks: Obvious Bicycle, Hannah Hunt, Step, Unbelievers, Hudson, Ya Hey, Diane Young, Worship You, Everlasting Arms

Least Favorite Track: Young Lion
Man this shit clicked the other day and I just been tearing up to it this whole week. Might get to a full review of it eventually.
Original Score: 80
While the band may not do as much adventuring on this album as they did with Contra, Vampire Weekend refines their sound and style so greatly on Modern Vampires of the City that it compensates for that lack.

There are a lot of things that band improves with this record. Mainly the writing, which feels much more grand and overbearing than it usually does, seemingly to go along with the new larger-than-life sound of the production. It becomes less of an expression of Ezra Koening, and more an ... read more
Vampire Weekend continues to further refine their sound. It’s hooky, it’s energetic and it’s a joy to listen to! But it’s also got a ton of emotional weight thanks to some excellent writing from Ezra. Top that off with great production, tight instrumentation and great performances and “Modern Vampires Of The City”, even to this day, remains one of my favorite indie records of the decade!

Fav Tracks: Hannah Hunt, Step, Unbelievers, Diane Young, Obvious ... read more
don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this album
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Track List

  1. Obvious Bicycle
  2. Unbelievers
  3. Step
  4. Diane Young
  5. Don't Lie
  6. Hannah Hunt
  7. Everlasting Arms
  8. Finger Back
  9. Worship You
  10. Ya Hey
  11. Hudson
  12. Young Lion
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Added on: February 4, 2013