Vampire Weekend (XL)

By Vampire Weekend

What happens when you drop an Afro-pop beat underneath a Franz Ferdinand song? Vampire Weekend, that's what. These four recent Columbia University graduates cop from Talking Heads, The Police, and Paul Simon's Graceland on their acclaimed debut. It's a pleasant enough record, tight at 34 minutes and marked by consistently inventive rhythms. But the disc's smug Ivy League atmosphere—the dorm-room seduction "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," the arch and didactic "Oxford Comma," the rich-kid travelogue "Walcott"—is overpowering. It's like the first third of Carnal Knowledge or a Whit Stillman movie, oblivious to its own privilege and prematurely nostalgic. If you think the soundtrack to Rushmore has too much of The Creation and not enough harpsichord, check it out.