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Loyalty to Loyalty
     

Loyalty to Loyalty

4.6 5
by Cold War Kids
 

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On Robbers & Cowards, Cold War Kids seemed to hit the right mix of rattling rock and atmospheric ballads, and their energy and hooky songwriting overpowered their debt to influences like the Walkmen, the White Stripes, and Spoon. The band

Overview

On Robbers & Cowards, Cold War Kids seemed to hit the right mix of rattling rock and atmospheric ballads, and their energy and hooky songwriting overpowered their debt to influences like the Walkmen, the White Stripes, and Spoon. The band doesn't replicate that feat on Loyalty to Loyalty: too many of the rockers start out brash and end up dull, like "Something Is Not Right with Me," which has a great strut that unfortunately doesn't develop into much else. On "Every Valley Is Not a Lake," Nathan Willett's vocals are unfettered to the point of grating, and only emphasize that the band's melodies aren't as strong on this album as they were on Robbers & Cowards. The same problems plague Loyalty to Loyalty's slower songs, such as "Avalanche in B," which drags painfully, and "Cryptomnesia," which closes the album with an unsatisfying meander. Even the band's writerly lyrics often feel overworked instead of clever -- lines like "Against Privacy"'s "We will talk about the pope and Prada shoes/No one gets upset" just feel contrived. To be fair, the album isn't a total disaster and improves as it goes along (excepting that unfortunate final track). "Mexican Dogs" stomps, then soars; "I've Seen Enough" blends the band's drive and poetic aspirations with flair; and "Every Man I Fall For" is an accomplished torch song begging for a songstress like Chan Marshall, Beth Ditto, or Beth Gibbons to sing it. Cold War Kids' storytelling skills are at their sharpest on "Golden Gate Jumpers," an oddly whimsical sketch of attempted suicide, and the rat race lament "Welcome to the Occupation," where lyrics like "They don't want poets, they want pigeons on a stool" don't feel pretentious. The band also moves in some different directions with equally mixed results: "Dreams Old Men Dream" has a soaring melody with a Latin twist, and "Relief"'s fuzz bass and falsetto sound like nothing else in Cold War Kids' songbook. On the other hand, "On the Night My Love Broke Through"'s sultry passages and wild piano tangents sounds better in theory than in practice. Cold War Kids deserve credit for their ambitions, but there's a fine line between trying hard and trying too hard. More often than not, Loyalty to Loyalty takes a disappointing stumble on it.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2008
Label:
Downtown
UPC:
0878037004229
catalogNumber:
70042
Rank:
70334

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Loyalty to Loyalty 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sportsnutim More than 1 year ago
When I first heard Cold War Kids (Loyalty to Loyalty) I asked the coffee attendant who was playing on their stereo system. I had to buy it; I love the music. I like music that is unsual and powerful. Tim
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago