In early 2010 Cold War Kids released the E.P – Behave Yourself, describing it as a “final reminder of the good old days of quick and fun, minimal Cold War Kids recording.”
Now on their third album, the band returns with a promised degree of studio sheen. Using Jacquire King on production duty (best known for Kings Of Leon’s Only By The Night), the Kids have attempted to grow up. Bathing their once rustic blues in reverb and delay, Mine Is Yours makes moves towards the majestic, ending up at middle of the road.
Songs such as ‘Louder Than Ever’ and ‘Finally Begin’ provide suitably hollow platitudes for the new stadium rock sound. ‘Bulldozer’ also manages to indulge banalities of Bono-esque proportion (“Bulldozer run right over us…Bulldozer clear a space for us”). Knowing singer Nathan Willet to be a lyricist of some depth (just listen again to debut single ‘We Used To Vacation’), the triteness of many tracks here comes a surprise.
What can be said for much of Mine Is Yours however is that Willet has improved dramatically as a vocalist. Gone is the slurred and sometimes-strangulated singing that had become his calling card, now replaced by a clean-fashioned croon fit for daytime radio. On another slightly redeeming note, the syncopated stomp of ‘Sensitive Kid’, gives a much-needed reminder of the imaginative songwriting this band is capable of.
Similarly penultimate song ‘Cold Toes On The Cold Floor’ is a bass-driven nod to the band’s R&B roots, but set against a backdrop of bloated ballads it appears achingly out of place. Although Mine Is Yours sees an effort to mature, it still falls short of its epic ambitions.