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Cold War Kids
While not as &ldquo;immediately impacting&rdquo; as Cold War Kids' first album, <em>Robbers and Cowards,</em> <em>Loyalty to Loyalty</em> proves they haven't lost their ramshackle charm.
 

Cold War Kids
Loyalty to Loyalty
(Downtown)

**

Loyalty to Loyalty should please fans of Cold War Kids, said Brandon Perkins in URB. While not as “immediately impacting” as 2006’s Robbers and Cowards, the second album from the Fullerton, Calif., crew proves they haven’t lost their ramshackle charm. Loyalty to Loyalty delivers more of the same: a ruckus of blues, gospel, and saloon-style rock ’n’ roll complete with hand-clapping, foot-stomping, and, of course, bottle-clanking. Frontman Nathan Willet and his wordy ways are once again central to the album. Miniature narratives pour out with “literary grandeur, pulsing virulence, and springing puissance.” Willet and the band “attack their songs with unusual intensity,” said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. Cold War Kids can bring a “feeling of enchantment” to even the most unsettling subjects, whether it’s suicide (“Golden Gate Jumpers”) or a woman’s bad choice in men (“Every Man I Fall For”). Too often, though, their songs are “held hostage” by Willet’s need to be front and center, said Ian Cohen in Pitchforkmedia.com. Because he seemingly equates soul with “unhinged belting,” Willet sounds so distraught by the dark nature of his subjects that he fails to let “his stories speak for themselves.”

 

 

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