In all honesty, I have to say that I am still unsure of the direction that the Cold War Kids’ music seems to be headed in – the sound that started in their previous album, Mine Is Yours, and seems to be developing further in their new single “Miracle Mile”. The reason why I loved them in the first place – what I think made songs like “We Used to Vacation” as popular as they were and still are – was the real narratives behind them. The incredibly sad stories about life that are delivered in a matter-of-fact kind of way with sounds that are unusual and jarring and banging and clanging. Pianos and falling tambourines and guitar and drum riffs that were a little unlike anything we’d heard before.
But that is not to say that elements of new Cold War Kids don’t have something as infectious in them because I know I went through one of those phases where I could literally, exclusively listen to only one song – “Audience”, a track on a 2009 EP called Behave Yourself that came out before Mine Is Yours (which also had an addictive crack song for me called “Skip the Charades”). “Miracle Mile” kind of picks up where this left off – still taking advantage of lead singer, Nathan Willett’s full, soaring watery vocals and the liquidy piano. There are the melodies that make you want to sing a long and the percussion that makes your head bob. But there’s also not much that separates Cold War Kids from other hideously underrated bands with great, great music who have to take what they’re good at and force it into a sellable record box.
If this sounds a little harsh it’s only because I am genuinely a fan of Cold War Kids and that something endearing they have that will always make me give them a listen. But maybe I’m also craving more of that something special that made me an addict in the first place.