Okay, so this thing is going to get a full review on tm3am.com next week, but... what a strange record.
Vampire Weekend, one of the best new bands in ages, has followed up a winning, stunning debut album with a set of songs that dives even further into idiosyncrasy. They do deliver some of the African punk-pop they made their name on, but not as often as fans might like. Instead, there's lots of blipping synthesizer, one song with a mariachi horn section, one song that samples M.I.A., and several that seem to hang together by the barest of threads.
Does it all work? I'm not sure yet. I'm still processing. My first listen(s) were not absolutely favorable. More next Wednesday, after I've mulled it over some more. But full credit to the band for not delivering a carbon copy of their first album, for stepping out on a limb - no matter how shaky that limb might be.