Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Contra Music Poster Image
Indie rockers' second CD is clean -- and compelling.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Though there's no graphic content, some of these songs contain fairly deep introspection ("If I ever had a chance it’s now then / But I never had the feeling I could offer that to you"), but this doesn't make them negative -- just real. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Vampire Weekend guys continue to receive a lot of press, but they haven't let it go to their heads in the form of excessive partying or irresponsible behavior.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A reference to getting stoned: "That night I smoked a joint."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that CONTRA is even cleaner than Vampire Weekend's last, self-titled album -- leaving out all of the swearing while retaining the thoughtful lyrics that helped to gain them fame in the first place. That said, there is a single reference to smoking pot.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 13-year-old Written byolderwiser October 27, 2010

Fine for all

The sound is fun and upbeat as well as videos. Clever and young...
Teen, 13 years old Written byNyctophilia June 7, 2013

A Bit Disappointing, But It's Alright

The album, 'Contra' is a bit of a disappointment from their first album, self-titled 'Vampire Weekend'. I find only one song on this album t... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybookworm:) January 6, 2012

One of my favourites!

I love Vampire Weekend! Every song on this CD is different, each with clever lyrics and a catchy tune. I haven't picked up any inappropriate or bad message... Continue reading

What's the story?

CONTRA is the second record from indie-rock darlings Vampire Weekend, who became the apples of the critics' eyes with their debut, self-titled album. On this album, the quartet of four guys from New York do what young adults do: explore their emotions and try to figure out who they really are. It's no surprise, then, that the song lyrics range from some fairly heavy introspection ("unsentimental, driving around, \

Is it any good?

Paul Simon, Velvet Underground, Weezer, and even Men Without Hats (remember "Safety Dance"?) come to mind when listening to this multi-layered CD. Of course, these influences will be more familiar to parents than most kids, but Vampire Weekend's overall sound will appeal to both age groups. Though this second record isn't quite as mesmerizing as the first, its creative leaps from straight-up alt-rock to afro-beats and beyond keep your attention locked throughout the album. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Vampire Weekend may have chosen to change course with their second album by making it entirely swear-free. Could the band have felt freer to do exactly what they wanted with their first album, and after gaining fame, felt more pressure to appeal to the masses with their second record?

  • How might the pressure to make an album with mass appeal affect the music itself? Could it hamper the band's creativity enough that their songs aren't as good overall?

Music details

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