Cold War Kids
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
April 7th, 2013 | 24 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I can't hear you, did you say that you're happy for me?

When a band announces that they are planning on recording and releasing a concept album, they are often met with skepticism and premature declarations of failure for their upcoming album. Aside from an unwritten group of ‘elite bands’, something in this day and age seems to reject bands continuing to release concept albums, as nearly every band with some sort of musical merit has delved into that area in the past. No longer is a concept album a ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ notion. For California natives Cold War Kids this fact could not have been lost on them, yet they decided to forge ahead and create a concept album in vein of the Nathanael West novel Miss Lonelyhearts and despite all odds, Cold War Kids mange to create an interesting and, more importantly, cohesive record with Dear Miss Lonelyhearts.

Album opener and lead single Miracle Mile starts the album off sounding nearly identical to previous releases, acting as homage to their past works. The song has everything that has bolstered Cold War Kids’ success so far in their career; bright and bubbly piano throughout, coupled with driving drums and soaring vocals. Aside from this opening track and perhaps the track Jailbirds, not much of the record is easily recognizable as a Cold War Kids record though, as evident by the paradigm shift in subsequent songs.

As the record progresses, Cold War Kids manage to perfectly encapsulate the depressingly desperate mood present in the novel that inspired this release, as most songs employ spacy and atmospheric sections. Lyrically the songs often display this sense of longing and loneliness. Tuxedoes, one of the strongest tracks in terms of advancing the concept, is but one example of this melancholy lyricism. “I love to be a stranger at a wedding. Cause tuxedos don't discriminate. A perfect disguise so be cool and fill up your pain.” Leader singer Nathan Willett has been producing high quality music through Cold War Kids for the better part of the last decade, and his experience truly shines through on their fourth full length record. The entire album is full of extended instrumental sections and prominent use of brass or woodwind instrumentation. Songs such as Fear and Trembling or the early mentioned Jailbirds best exemplify the latter, as the songs implement perfectly placed instrumentation. Elsewhere on the album it is nearly impossible to miss the innate groovy-ness present. The record furthers the bands penchant for blues and groove, as nearly every song will have listeners either tapping their feet or nodding their heads.

But as was earlier alluded to, concept albums are not as groundbreaking or innovative as they used to be. And quite frankly, neither is the indie genre. While Cold War Kids managed to release a concept album that does not suffer from being overly pretentious like many similar albums, this record is nothing novel. Although the fact that Cold War Kids is not trying to rewrite music or push the boundaries of their genre is not something that warrants immediate disapproval, it is nevertheless unavoidable for a band that fails to push themselves to avoid a slow descent into mediocrity.

While this album has its definite highs and lows, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is without a doubt a great record. Although the band does not try to move outside the confines of their respective genre, it is apparent that there are minor changes and adaptations that are taking place. Cold War Kids is seemingly not a band that is choosing to become stagnant, something that bodes well for a band that has yet to peak. Given time Cold War Kids is sure to release an album worthy of illustrious and unanimous praise. Although Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is not this album, Cold War Kids is inching ever so slowly towards their former prominence, and releasing a splendid album in the process.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.2
good
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Nathan Taft (4)
In spite of its insipid final moments, “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” is the top-notch record that sho...


Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So I sort of originally posted this at thealtreview.net. This one was edited and changed a little bit.

But anyway. This is a pretty great record. Worth a listen or two

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


8010 Comments


I haven't listened to these guys in so long. Their first album is great, the one after that not so much

Digging: Beach Slang - Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2013


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

nice man. i love miracle mile

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had this at a 3.5 but I bumped it up to a 4. It's probably just cuz I like this a lot more than their last few albums.

kitsch
April 7th 2013


5107 Comments


i want cold war themed post punk / industrial

anyone got recz

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


19933 Comments


"When a band announces that they are planning on recording and releasing a concept album, they are often meet with skepticism"

met with skepticism ;)

nice review as always

Digging: Coldworld - Melancholie

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol Thanks man. I feel like i have a problem in the intros almost every review.



atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet. thanks for the feature guys!

Ecnalzen
April 7th 2013


6706 Comments


OOO, an atrink feature. NICE.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol at this rate it will be off the front page in an hour

Ecnalzen
April 7th 2013


6706 Comments


Wasn't it just in the second spot? That's quick work.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol i just wrote it today so it's been up there for less than a day. I'm thinking this will just be the four that are up there for awhile now though

chaseguitar
April 8th 2013


732 Comments


"Cold War Kids is seemingly not a band that is choosing to become stagnant, something that bodes well for a band that has yet to peak."

I haven't heard this yet but IMO they definitely peaked with Robbers & Cowards

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

if I kind of liked Mine Is Yours but only cause it's fun summer time music, should I bother with this? is it much better than that album would you say?

classic kitsch post by the way

"hey everyone in this indie-rock thread, I like post-punk and industrial and other elite forms of music, just in case you forgot."

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

jtswope
April 8th 2013


2369 Comments


saw these guys live last year. they're alright. nice review!

kitsch
April 8th 2013


5107 Comments


This band has a post punk influence

CrazyDiamond7
April 8th 2013


64 Comments


Robbers and Cowards was pretty good, but everything else this band put out has been boring, generic pap. Might give this a shot though as I did enjoy Miracle Mile.

overthehill
April 8th 2013


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cold War Kids are back!

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@aids I like this one better than mine is yours. This one is less of just plain straightforward songs than their last few

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2013


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

potsy i thought you would've hated mine is yours. for the record i liked it too



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