Review: Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Published on April 6th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Keening male vocal notwithstanding, Cold War Kids sound like Florence and the Machine on at least two of the tracks of their fourth album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Suffice it to say, that’s not a compliment, and when Nathan Willett delivers the line “You take yourself so serious” on “Lost That Easy”, it’s hard not to – at least once you’ve corrected his grammar – throw the accusation back at him/them.
“Lost That Easy” and “Loner Phase” both try to shoehorn in the electronics, unsuccessfully by dint of their practical unsuitability to Willett’s flailing vocals and the relentless washing tonality of the band’s sound. The brass arpeggios and whirring sci-fi noises of “Fear & Trembling” provides pleasing respite, as does the lower-register singing on the faintly ‘solo Lennon’-y “Tuxedos”, but by the time the ’80s melodrama of “Water & Power” kicks in we’re just a bit bored by it all. It plays host to a repeated refrain of “cry and move on”, which seems to be the battle plan for most of these songs.
There are some nifty lyrical turns in places, such as “My thoughts are scattered like crows” and “Good times never call when you’re waiting by the phone”, while the title track’s sparse arrangement and clattering percussion offers a welcome slice of lateral thinking (not to mention an agreeably daft falsetto). In the end, though, it’s not quite enough to outweigh the prevailing uneventfulness.
Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is out now on V2. For more information, please click here to visit the official Cold War Kids website.