Cold War Kids Aren’t that Hot

Courtesy of Downtown Records

Courtesy of Downtown Records

“Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” is Cold War Kids’ fourth album, featuring former Modest Mouse guitarist Dann Gallucci. Upon first listen, I was mildly disappointed, but given two and three further listens, it grew on me. I expected a bit more variety from these Long Beach natives, but they do offer a few singles that will please the ears.

The first two tracks of the album, “Miracle Mile” and “Lost That Easy,” are arguably the best tracks on the album. “Miracle Mile” is incredibly catchy, offering an intriguing but deceiving start to the album. This track is the first single of the album, pop-driven with fast and repetitive piano chords.

“Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” (the track) did not live up to the expectations I had either. It’s a slower song that tells a story about fighting against the law and giving up on life. It seemed to aim to be a ’80s-themed anthem and it was not memorable.

“Fear and Trembling” and “Loner Phase” are the only other tracks on the album with which I didn’t have many qualms. “Loner Phase” sounds like it’s from the ’80s as well and could be played alongside Depeche Mode. “Fear and Trembling” is slow in a soothing way, unlike the other songs that I felt were painful.

Other songs like “Water and Power” are the more painful, slower songs. Too many of these songs seem to reach for an “epic” sound that you could classify as trying too hard to be an anthem.

I really wanted to like this album, but it didn’t leave a great impression on me. I only hoped the album had more songs like the ones they had started with, that were fun and/or easy to listen to and less songs that seem to strive to be epic ’80s-themed anthems.

Only Recommended If: You like ’80s-inspired ballads.