2013 album rankings

Vampire Weekend has always been clever, but I never expected them to be deep. Yet here it is: The year’s most emotionally and sonically nuanced record, in which Ezra Koenig grapples resonantly with the impending demise of everyone he knows, the dwindling currency of youth, and What It All Means. Lyrically, Koenig is on his Nobel Prize shit – lacing his scenes with just enough detail to evoke the maximum emotional response but not so much that it handcuffs the imagination, gracefully confronting some of life’s scarier questions, never abandoning his penchant for canny cultural references. His meditations on death are embedded in a musical landscape that breathes and sparkles courtesy of Rostam Batmanglij, Ariel Rechtshaid and the gang, a series of immaculate concoctions that effortlessly bridge the symphonic and the synthetic. Together, they embraced and surpassed the prevailing sounds of modern pop while eviscerating its prevailing wisdom. The result was an instant classic LP that sealed Vampire Weekend’s legacy as one of the finest bands of their generation. As it turns out, the kids do stand a chance.