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Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride Music Album Reviews

Vampire Weekend return with a shaggy, sprawling double album all about rebirth, contentment, and the reclamation of light.
From the beginning, Vampire Weekend were winners: charming, relatively lighthearted; Columbia students one year, festival headliners the next. They had cute sweaters and smart jokes; they wrote with wit and curiosity about the tapestry of privileged life; they carried themselves with an almost infuriating sparkle. But they were also manic, weird, and provocatively cross-cultural, mixing up digital dancehall and string sections, Latin punk and raga in ways that didn’t quite fit. And despite their superficial politeness, there was something deeply antagonistic about them, the vestigial bite of suburban kids who grew up loving punk and hardcore but never quite felt entitled to its anger, the indie-rock band bent on breaking up the monopoly rock held over guitar-based music.

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Chris Crack - Crackheads Live Longer Than Vegans Music Album Reviews


The prolific Chicago rapper’s recent project is his loosest, funniest, and most invigorating to date, full of hard left turns and sly wit.

Chris Crack is so prolific this isn’t even his most recent project. Over the past eleven months, the Chicago MC has somehow released seven albums, each filled with short songs showcasing his acuity and wordplay. His song titles tell their own little stories—“Hug Me Till I Smell Like You,” “Real is a Handicap,” “Explanation Kills Art”—and his raps dance lightly around them. Clocking in at only 16 minutes long, Crackheads Live Longer Than Vegans is his loosest and funniest project yet, full of hard lefts and sly wit.


Somewhere along the line, maybe after last year’s Being Woke Ain’t Fun, Crack realized that less was more: His raps thinned out, and the breathing spaces began to open up in his work. He’s been following this wayward path ever since—2018’s Just Gimme A Minute consisted of minute-long snapshots, 2019’s This Will All Make Sense Later a series of madcap detours. All of the songs on Crackheads are under two and a half minutes long, but other than that, there is no obvious blueprint. A surprise waits around every corner—there are digressions, untagged interludes, audio cues, speech snippets. Uncredited guests requisition entire songs.

As with Just Gimme A Minute, the bedrock of Crackheads Live Longer Than Vegans is ‘90s R&B and hip hop soul, sometimes merely tracing its edges and sometimes transfiguring it. “Goals Only Exist in Soccer” takes the same “Any Time, Any Place” sample used for Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice” but Janet’s vocals bend around Crack’s and not vice versa, as if live. He also flips Mary J. Blige’s “I Can Love You” and 702’s “Get It Together,” on “Repair for Character” and “Bitches Don’t Deserve Me” respectively, and his songs expand on the mood of the source material, as if he’s in conversation with them.

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In the cracks, the grooves within the grooves, Crack raps as if emptying himself out. “Always needed something pleasant, was the first one with the gold Tesla/Watch your back around the soul catchers,” he raps on “Black People Can’t Be Racist.” By turns, he’s funny, cynical, deadpan and sly: On the closer “My Ex Was a Garden Tool,” he opts out of depression and vows to “Make her pick her jaw up/When she see you in that Lexus.” Crackheads Live Longer Than Vegans is brief, but it brims with so much personality it’s almost like an absurdist sitcom, its offbeat cast of characters shuffling in and out of the frame around its star. From his sudden denouncement of Papa John’s in the opening moment to the distorted R&B harmonies at the close, Chris Crack makes something out of every second. There’s no filler and there are no boundaries.



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