“LA Divine” provides a different, but still enjoyable, vibe from previous releases

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Some of the most prominent memories I have from this past summer involve driving around with my friends, windows down, and the best songs blaring so loud it was impossible to hear anyone, even when they were screaming. There were a few go-to songs when it came down to summer adventures, and one of which was “First” by Cold War Kids. While it was slightly outdated (released in 2014), it still consistently caused everyone to belt out the lyrics with everything they had. After falling in love with this song and the vocals that accompany it, I decided to do a little sleuthing to find other phenomenal jams for future journeys. It wasn’t until recently when I discovered Cold War Kids’ first release since 2014, La Divine, and while the music contained on the album varies from the previous tone of the band, it nonetheless impressed me.

When I first listened to the album, the completely individual tone of the band was immediately recognizable. It was comforting to hear the unique vocals shine through this new release, especially given it varies drastically with their previous music.

In songs such as “Wilshire Protest” and “LA River,” a vast majority of the song is completely spoken word, accompanied by some backbeat. In past works, Cold War Kids have had lyrics that were impossible not to sing, so this change in pace was slightly shocking. I was personally not a fan of these “interludes” in the album – I felt they disrupted from the flow of each track and took away from the talent that the band contains. However, while there were a few unfamiliar and slightly odd adjustments to the sound, there were aspects of LA Divine that I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of which was the slightly toned back vibe that each track gave. The beats were comforting, similar to a creek flowing through a valley; calm and quiet and some places, and raging and wild in others. The lyrics remained powerful, the singing remained soulful, yet the beat behind each tune was catchy but not too aggressive – a good mix of pop and chill. This is showcased in songs such as “No Reason to Run” and “Can We Hang On ?” both of which provide perfect jams for studying or just plain background music.

While LA Divine doesn’t necessarily provide songs to scream the lyrics to with the windows rolled down, the album is still remarkable, just slightly different that the previous sound of Cold War Kids. The tracks still provide beats that you can make memories to, just memories that differ from those made with the band’s earlier releases.

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