Sound: When I learned I was going to be reviewing the new album by Cold War Kids, I could not help but wonder what I was in for. Their new album, Mine Is Yours was released on January 25th, 2011. I have heard about the band before, but I had never been interested in getting an album by them.
While listening to Mine Is Yours, I was immediately empowered by the music of the first song, Mine Is Yours. The music was mellow, and had a wonderful vibe. The problem I ran into while listening to the album was the lack of these emotionally powered song throughout the rest of the album.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the album as a whole, but individually, some tracks were disappointing to listen to. The best tracks were the ones with the bongo's and other percussion instruments rambling their way through the song. This industrial feel mixed perfectly with some of the guitar melodies, but more with the groove of the bass, bringing a great amount of depth to the song that improved the listening. Out Of The Wilderness and Bulldozer are the best examples of these magnificent songs. Bulldozer has this mellow, powerful bass line to start the song, with those industrial drums making their way into the song. The guitars can be as simple as three chords mixed into different progressions, or elegant jazz style chords, or lastly an emotionally driven guitar melody that works in perfect harmony with the vocals. The guitars always have a mix of reverb or delay that add an echoey, eerie presence to all the songs. Broken Open has a mix of the jazz chords and emotional melodies that keeps the song interesting. // 7
Lyrics: The vocals are probably my favorite instrument on the album. Nathan Willett sings quite a performance on this album. His high-pitched wobbly vocals give more emotion to certain songs, especially his Da da da da's in Cold Toes On The Cold Floo. Another skill of Willet's is his ability to phrase the vocals to fit the songs. Other singer's draw out a phrase for way to long, while some sing to fast, but Willett's ability to keep his pitch and phrase out his words keep the music happy and emotional. From the inspiring soft vocals of Mine Is Yours to the more raw and louder vocals of Finally Begin, the vocals of each song will not let down any person who decides to pick up this album. // 8
Overall Impression: The album itself is an album filled with inspiring and emotional songs, but taking a step back to look at it from reality, it is not a favorite of mine. I feel I have heard this type of music before, with a band like Kings of Leon leading the way in this new indie genre. Certain songs like Out Of The Wilderness and Bulldozer are great songs, but the overall presence of the album was not as I expected. Cold War Kids have great talent, and their ability to add multiple genres into this album keeps this album playing through my iPod. The mellow vibe is perfect, and sometimes certain songs bring me back to the 70's, with the industrial sounds mixing perfectly with jazzy classic rock music. Overall, this was a good album to listen to. // 7
- Sean Michael Gonzalez (c) 2011