What is mine is yours

4 Dec

Whilst lovers of Cold War Kids‘  rawer, wilder earlier displays of off-key-in-places vocals and clangy, roughly strewn-together instrumentals may be somewhat let down by the neater and more polished sound of  Mine is Yours, the album also presents a number of tricks and techniques rarely (or never) before seen (or heard) from Cold War Kids, enhancing and expanding the scope of their sound and evidencing musical growth, development and experimentation by the Californian band, who have been active for all of six years.

Mine is Yours presents tighter instrumental layering and a more frequent and intensive use of dynamics than previous work by Cold War Kids. Aside from the artful construction and deconstruction of instrumental layering in all of the songs, songs like “Bulldozer” and “Out of the Wild” are conceptually deepened by mid-song onsets of quiet and progression into an entirely different melody, eventually returning to the original chorus melody – much like a bridge with a hushed introduction.

The band has also begun to work with electronica, as is made obvious in the first few seconds of “Mine is Yours”, the first and title track. “Flying Upside Down” (behind Willett’s foregrounded vocals) is distinctly Trance-like. Willett’s vocals have even obviously been edited in the chorus of “Finally Begin” (although nowhere else on the album).

In addition, Willett has charmingly begun, in places, to sing just for the sake of it; using his voice as a musical instrument rather than packaging for set of lyrics – think “woo-oo-oo-ooh”s and “lalala”s. 

For those sceptical of Cold War Kids’ new computerized toys, the reassuring presence of Nathan Willett’s clear, uncut vocals may  win them over. His masterful command of note-bending and vocal vibratum is thrillingly present in “Skip the Charades”. He pushes up to pure, sweet high notes I haven’t heard him sing before in “Sensitive Kid”.

For those still cynical, “Cold Toes on the Cold Floor” features harmonica and tambourine, housed in the classic Cold War Kids angst of earlier songs like “St. John” and “Hang Me up to dry”.

Mine is Yours is one of those winning albums on which every song is a good, well put-together song that serves its own purpose within the album. It’s easy to sing along to, and its lyrics – skipping the charades in every song – are the type that can impart profound truth even when quoted out of context.


End Note: I’m sorry if this post is a bit average:  it’s one in the morning and I can’t remember which day of which week  it was that I had my last proper night’s sleep…


2 Responses to “What is mine is yours”


  1. Cold War Kids: Dear Miss Lonelyhearts | As of yet Untitled - 12 December 2013

    […] through our car speakers on late-night highways and our earbuds on aching afternoon walks with Mine is Yours flows forth even bigger, even bolder, even brighter in Dear Miss […]

  2. Cold War Kids: Hold My Home | Sound & Fury - 6 December 2014

    […] Mile” (Dear Miss Lonelyhearts), and “Bulldozer” (Mine Is Yours) […]

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