Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine (HD Album ARt)

Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine

Star Rating: 4.5/5

Tracks: 14


Released in 2017, L.A. Divine marks the sixth album that Cold Ward Kids has released. Our boys from Long Beach, CA have done it again with this record, pulling all the stops with featured artists and a spoken word piece! After changing their original lineup, Cold War Kid's sound would never be the same, but this record reminds the avid fan of the feeling that they evoked back in their Loyalty to Loyalty days.

Top Tracks of the Album & Takeaways

L.A. Divine has multiple hot tracks, but the lead in this reviewer's mind is "Love is Mystical". It begins with piano, a filtered breakbeat, and Nathan Willett's falsetto voice beckoning the listener. It keeps building into a classic Cold War Kids verse. "I'm a red-blooded man", he croons. The song sets up a tale of a man who is taken on a mystical journey to find love. The track is full of Nathan's broken philosophies are juxtaposed with memories that only he will recognize. "Light and darkness will show you the way, give you the power to believe again". This one is definitely the song to introduce a new listener to this album, but it's not the only radio-friendly anthem.

"So Tied Up" is a collaboration between Cold War Kids and Bishop Briggs, a newcomer to the indie rock scene. Honestly, it's pretty hard to notice her on the track except when all the music drops and her voice shines through, which is clearly an intentional move. This track received possibly too much attention for it's simple Stockholm syndrome ideation. The most overlooked track is most likely "Free to Breathe" which accurately describes political apathy in the era of digital radicalization. Though the song offers no solutions, it captures such emotions with deft writing and brings us back to a Dear Miss Lonelyhearts vibe.

What we liked

Overall, the album offers many reasons to love it. The lyrics are well constructed and the themes don't stray too far from Willet's normal subject matter, abstract yet relatable philosophical soundbites. Each song has the same production quality, which makes the record feel very continuous. It is important to listen to albums this way because it's how the artist intended. Moving from "Love is Mystical" through the album to end with "Free to Breathe" will give the listener the best experience.

Not so much...

While there are many things to like, this album could have been less than fourteen songs. In some cases, a lengthy album is justified or necessary. Such is not the case for L.A. Divine. It is actually the only negative aspect we could find. A few of the tracks might have fit better on one of Cold War Kid's many EPs, which they basically treat as a vehicle to distribute their b-sides.

Videos and Singles

Love Is Mystical

Free To Breathe


This really is a solid album from our boys. We've decided to award them 4.5 stars for an excellent addition to their discography. Can we hang on until the next record? This Cold War Kids fan can't wait!

Track Listing

Love Is Mystical
Can We Hang On?
So Tied Up
LA River
No Reason to Run
Open Up the Heavens
Wilshire Protest
Luck Down
Ordinary Idols
Cameras Always On
Part of the Night
Free to Breathe

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