Tag Archives: Cold War Kids

CD Review: Mine Is Yours [2011]

Cold War Kids
Release: 1/2011
Label: Downtown

1. “Mine Is Yours” – B-
2. “Louder Than Ever” – A-
3. “Royal Blue” – C
4. “Finally Begin” – C
5. “Out of the Wilderness” – B-
6. “Skip the Charades” – B
7. “Sensitive Kid” – B-
8. “Bulldozer” – C
9. “Broken Up” – C-
10. “Cold Toes on the Cold Floor” – C-
11. “Flying Upside Down” – C

Comments: If we get over the fact that Cold War Kids have historically been rather high-aiming, we all might appreciate this record a little more. There is some intrinsic value in CWK’s way of going about sounding ‘big’ — their ‘art’ doesn’t come off as forced. They’ve always incorporated blues and soul into their pop appearance more emphatically than a group they are often compared to — Kings of Leon. Keeping that in mind, there indeed seems to be a limit on creativity (confirmed via this record) in pop-sensible modern rock. For a decade or two, we’ve all heard dry John Mayer/dry Matchbox 20/dry (insert lame top 40 “rock” band here). ¬†“Mine Is Yours” is pretty bland (good, but generically so) and “Louder Than Ever” also sounds like just another anthemic tune. I’m not sensing any of the depth that debut LP Robbers & Cowards or 2010 EP Behave Yourself brought to the table. Even something strippeddownLOUDstrippeddownLOUD like “Out of the Wilderness” just doesn’t come off as triumphant as it wants to be, minus a few satisfying parts here and there. “Skip the Charades” is a nice idea and a pretty solid slow song, without sounding retarded or cheesy. The last four or so songs are just utterly¬†un-fulfilling. I don’t think I’m going to completely give up on Cold War Kids, but where are the immediate hooky tunes (“Saint John,” “Heavy Boots,” etc) that got me interested in them in the first place? Except for “Louder Than Ever” not on here.

Grade: C+ (77)

EP Review: Behave Yourself (2010)

Band: Cold War Kids
Release: 2010
Label: Downtown/Universal

1. “Audience of One” – A+
2. “Coffee Spoon” – B+
3. “Santa Ana Winds” – A
4. “Sermons” – A+
5. “Baby Boy” – N/A

Comments: “Audience of One” is pretty damn slick. The bridge is absolutely fantastic, but in general it’s a great song. “Coffee Spoon” is pretty chill with a neat drum sequence, but it’s nothing worth going crazy over. “Santa Ana Winds” is reminiscent of “Audience of One” in terms of what it has: a great flow and a great bridge. “Sermons” is the foremost soul/gospel number on this EP and is quite addicting. I didn’t really want to assign “Baby Boy” a grade because it’s over before it is started and is three sentences long. This probably will turn out to be one of my favorite EPs of 2010, but considering it’s Christmas Day 2009, it’s still early.

Final Grade: A (94)