The reason that most enjoy the first two records from Cold War Kids is because they delivered great feeling into their music. It was full of badass-ness, if you will and not the type of badass-ness that is present in most music nowadays. They sounded like pissed off workingman blues for our generation. I’ve heard the tale that the first practice the band had involved no instruments; instead, the group only employed vocals and handclaps, deciding that it was all they needed to make music. It is possible to see a performance in this vein on la blogotheque.
This is not what Mine Is Yours is about. This is a high-production album from people who are not comfortable in that form of art. It comes off as mostly something that could sit on a record shelf next to recent releases from Kings of Leon. If you don’t believe that statement, just listen to the opening track on the album. Instead of writing lyrics driven by well-crafted characters, Cold War Kids are handing their listeners generic alternative-rock songs circa 2010. All of the instrumentals have been drawn into only existing in the background of the songs, leaving the vocals (which are belting out sub-par lyrics and melodies) the most easily accessed part of the album.
I won’t deny that there are plenty of catchy moments along with vocal and instrumental hooks, but I find myself more offended by these aspects than drawn into the music. Even the best moments on the album, like the mid-album “Sensitive Kid,” are only saved because they draw ever so lightly on the type of songs that made up old Cold War Kids; however, they cannot save the rest of the album.
Mine Is Yours is not “the worst album” of any span of time. As a pop-rock album, it turns out to be satisfactory. The part that I found the most disappointing was that after listening I felt no urge to ever listen to the album again. Both of the previous Cold War Kids albums remain in my record collection and get played regularly. It won’t take long for Mine Is Yours to drift into obscurity. I still encourage everyone to listen to it and make up their own mind, but there should be no obligation felt by anyone to go out of their way to listen to this album.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P
Key Tracks: “Out of the Wilderness”, “Sensitive Kid” and “Bulldozer”.
Recommended if you like: Delta Spirit, Spoon and White Rabbits.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!