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Cold War Kids, ‘Mine Is Yours’ (Downtown)

Josh Modell // January 25, 2011

Having expunged their skittish, dark energy and fully embraced studio slickness, Cold War Kids are left stranded, sounding like a band aiming for the charts of both 1994 and 2011. (Think Toad the Wet Sprocket nuzzling Kings of Leon, whose producer Jacquire King is on hand.) Nathan Willett’s voice, alternately soulful and overeager, rests far above everything, which suits the aspirations here except when he gets too funky and lands with a thud (“Sensitive Kid”). A couple of songs succeed on their own terms, like “Finally Begin” — destined for a rom-com trailer — but most float unmemorably down the highway of not-quite-modern rock.