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Album review: Cold War Kids' 'Mine Is Yours'

Coldwarkids Alt-rock cleanup jobs rarely come more straightforward than Cold War Kids’ “Mine Is Yours,” on which this Long Beach foursome sands the edges from its clattering soul-punk sound.

Swaggering yet sensitive, it’s a record that appears to have been made firmly in the shadow of Kings of Leon, which after years in the underground finally broke through to the mainstream with 2008’s hit “Only by the Night.” Cold War Kids traveled to Nashville to record “Mine Is Yours” with Kings producer Jacquire King, and he gives songs such as “Broken Open” and “Royal Blue” the same arena-ready sheen; frontman Nathan Willett’s vocal hooks seem designed to be bellowed along with $12 beer in hand.

Longtime fans are apt to be disappointed by the change in direction, which for sure renders the band less unique. Yet the best songs here -- “Finally Begin,” “Louder Than Ever,” the aptly titled “Bulldozer” -- run with the kind of streamlined efficiency that can be just as satisfying as arty idiosyncrasy. Unburdened by their trademark clutter, Willett and his bandmates use that extra energy to push forward.

-- Mikael Wood

Cold War Kids
“Mine Is Yours”
Downtown
Two and a half stars (out of four)

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

Point of usage: a band can't be "less unique," nor more unique. Unique is one of a kind, a superlative, therefore without degree or modification. Like pregnant. You're either unique, or you're not.

Good, informative review, though. Thanks.

The true rawness of Willett's voice and the grit of the band's sound are completely missing from this album. Just as King did with KOL's most disappointing album, he's stripped CWK of their soul via overproducing. I've absolutely loved CWK from their humble beginnings: Robbers & Cowards was some kind of genius, Loyalty to Loyalty had plenty of highs to easily forget the lows, but it pains me to say this album has very few saving graces.

Ok. First off, when I was first listening to this album, I could hardly believe it was the Cold War Kids. It sounded too clean, too refined. I was used to their characteristic clutter and bluesy feel. It sounds too mainstream. It's not growing on me either. Royal Blue, Bulldozer, Out of the Wilderness, Cold Toes on the Cold Floor, and Don't Look Down at Me....are all ok, but it doesn't sound like the right sound that this band should be making. This is the sound of a band that is trying too hard. I am really disappointed. Still, it's a solid listen, just true fans should not imagine the Cold War Kids as the artist to these mediocre songs. BRING BACK THE GRIT AND CLUTTER! DOWN WITH THIS ACCURSED REFINEMENT! Maybe not so harsh but still


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