Album Review: Cold War Kids Mine Is Yours
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Updated: Sunday, March 20, 2011 18:03
Mine Is Yours is one small step for music and one giant leap for Cold War Kids. The group of California indie rockers aimed big on this third effort, released on January 25. In an interview with AbsolutePunk.net, front man Nathan Willet admitted that "there were a lot of things that [he] wasn't that happy with," on their second album Loyalty To Loyalty. To avoid this issue with Mine Is Yours, the band spent a lot more time in the studio polishing each track until it shined to their satisfaction.To achieve the sound they hoped to reach, Cold War Kids enlisted the help of album producer Jacquire King, who is recently known for bringing Kings of Leon into mainstream success with their two latest albums. The final result is a collection of eleven tracks prepared for mainstream appeal. While this is not a bad thing, it gives the band a refined sound that some fans may not find as appealing.
A rich, soothing, and smooth sound encompasses Mine Is Yours throughout its entirety. With emotive alternative guitar fills and soulful vocals, Cold War Kids craft a melancholy haze that spans across the entirety of the album, filling the songs with a gloomy mood. This is extremely noticeable in the song "Broken Open," where somber guitar melodies, sympathetic bass notes, and King's introspective narration contrast with upbeat, cymbal-dominant percussion.
However, not every song on Mine Is Yours contains a dark and brooding vibe. Tracks such as "Louder Than Ever" bring in an optimistic component to the album. After a single, drawn-out guitar strum, a driving beat and energetic vocals simultaneously appear, pulling the listener immediately into the first verse. The song then segues into one of the most memorable choruses on the album; equipped with catchy lyrics, a head-nodding drumbeat, and lead guitar riffs to accompany the vocal melody.
The major downside with this polished version of Cold War Kids is that it was polished a little too much. In the attempt for perfection, the band removed all of the unrestrained energy that made previous songs really pop. The pure passion and intensity once found in previous singles "Hang Me Up To Dry" and "Something Is Not Right With Me" is hidden under the painstaking production. Regardless, Cold War Kids have still released a great collection of songs that are ready to attract a much larger fan base.