Winter break music wrap-up

| Cadenza Music Editor
vampire-weekend
Owlcity

Welcome back, Wash. U.!

We here at Cadenza have missed you terribly. Without you, we were forced to subject our friends and family to our arts and entertainment shenanigans, and it’s really just not the same. We’re all for making up for lost time, so, in no particular order, here are some of our fave hits and misses of the break.

Ke$ha

Yes, her lyrics leave something to be desired, and, yes, her standards for men are questionable (incidentally, how old IS Mick Jagger?) but she makes trashy, delicious pop that was perfect during break. I started listening to “Tik Tok” with every intention of hating it, failed miserably, and then transitioned to the rest of the album. “Party at a Rich Dude’s House” may be the finest song of her entire repertoire, but “Blah Blah Blah” (featuring 3OH!3, who seem to have uncharacteristically trusted a *ho*) deserves major props as well. To her credit, she’s living the rock ‘n’ roll dream—she snuck into Prince’s house with a demo (and was later thrown out) and, after singing backup vocals on Paris Hilton’s record, threw up in Paris’ closet. Pop confections with crunk and punk swagger? Count me in.

Vampire Weekend

I’m the first to admit when a band’s been overhyped, but Vampire Weekend really does continue to impress me. Accolades notwithstanding, new album “Contra” takes the familiar elements of their breakout album and streamlines it even further. The 10 songs show VW at their best: breezy and fun, with food for thought and a subtle Californian theme woven in. Worth a listen, for sure.

Owl City

Is it just me, or is there no redeeming value to this band? Maybe it’s because I heard “Fireflies” for the first time in July, but I’m over it. Good news for fans is that the rest of their album is crazy consistent. If you like the single, you’ll like the whole thing. Owl City will be at the Pageant on Jan. 23.

Heidi Montag

Don’t worry, Gentle Reader, this album is absolutely horrendous. But God, isn’t it great for making fun of? Three years and $2 million later, Montag’s “Superficial” is nothing short of atrocious. When she turns up the tempo and takes a darker turn—as in “Turn Ya Head”—she shows some promise. But much of that is overshadowed by the thin beats, breathy vocals and inane themes of other tracks. Montag’s intention in making the album was to have it stand up to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Only time will tell?

Things we’re crazy excited about in the coming semester…

Los Campesinos! will release their new album, “Romance is Boring.” Their 2008 album “Hold On Now, Youngster,” is one of my favorites of all time, and leaked tracks show many of the same attributes. Expect melancholy themes and ferociously danceable twee.

Spoon’s newest album, “Transference” is expected to drop this week. After the runaway success of “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga,” I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Yeasayer, the self-described “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel” band from Brooklyn, returns from a grueling festival run supporting 2007’s “All Hour Symbols.” The first single from new album “Odd Blood,” “Ambling Alp,” is simply delicious.

Here’s to the beginnings of a great musical year!