Nathan Willet and the rest of Cold War Kids are back with a new album in “L.A. Divine.” It’s a record that might not appeal to old school fans of the band as much as their new fans, after all it’s an album for the masses, but Willet’s voice stands out proud and clear here and the rest of the band capably goes along for a 40+ minute excursion in melodic intensity.
The album starts out on about as high of a note as an album can start with “Love is Mystical” thanks to Willet’s voice and a jarring percussion line throughout the song, you’re pumped and ready to go. The thing is that is like the gas is pushed down on track one and save for a couple of brief interludes it’s never broken. This is a good thing. They found a style they wanted with this record, one that’s not that far removed from what they’ve done in the past, and they went with it. That style is emotional intensity. If you could ever hear a yearning passion for something to just be good, it would sound like it’s coming from Willet’s mouth. These vocals are insane and the songs are even better.
Cold War Kids’ latest isn’t what’s going to be described as their best, but it’s a clear favorite for me. It’s a fun album to listen to and it’s an album that will make you want to get up and do something with your life, I don’t know what else someone would want from an album. This is a great one and one that’s worth listening to repeatedly and then a few times more on top of that.