Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Star rating: 5/5
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts marks the band's fourth full length studio album and places the band right where it needed to be. Their previous album had drifted toward pop, but didn't quite sell out. This album swings the opposite direction, giving us some of the most experimental and form-breaking tracks since Robbers and Cowards.
Top Tracks & Takeaways
The lead single and album opener is "Miracle Mile", which received decent radio airplay and is arena-rock polished from the first note. Many of Cold War Kid's lyrics and themes deal with songwriting and creation, which is true here as well. "Come up for air, come up for air, come up," lead singer Nathan Willett implores. He describes the spectra of depression and the deep dive into creativity and art. It's a fascinating meditation on human nature, and that is just the opener.
Each song on this album is worthy of it's own individual review, but for the sake of brevity the top three tracks to hear (other than "Miracle Mile") are: "Tuxedos", "Loner Phase", and "Fear & Trembling". Again, each song is notable and easy to listen to. This reviewer can't stress enough the importance of listening to this album all the way through. You'll come to love Cold War Kids deep cuts like "Bottled Affection", another one of Willett's stoic presentations on alcoholism.
What we liked
Cold Ward Kids have refined their sound on this record, and the methods used are present on the following albums, too. This album does not include original member Johnny Russell left the band prior to recording. To fill his place, the band tapped Dan Gallucci who previously served as a guitarist for Modest Mouse.
The production is more electronic, but not in a plastic or overtly synth-y way. Instead the band's sound takes the form of a twisted dirge, and these haunting tones carry the record through to the end with grace that is not present on every CWK effort. We get a bit nostalgic for Loyalty to Loyalty, but it is hard to defer to either LP as the truest "blues roots" standard.
Not so much...
Nathan hits some of the shrillest highs on this album, and it could be overdone. Additionally, the tempos throughout are on on the slower side, which doesn't align with this reviewer's preferences.
Videos and Singles
Lost That Easy
Overall, this record is a keeper. Cold War Kids have a special place in the heart of every indie-head out there. If that's the case for you, we're preaching to the choir, but we're still going to give our boys five out of five stars for a truly classic album.
Lost That Easy
Fear & Trembling
Water & Power
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts