Cold War Kids try to bring a fun rock beat to pop music in LA Divine.
The record starts with a piano-led, catchy sing-along titled “Love is Mystical,” but slows in “Can We Hang On?” which feels dragged out longer than necessary. Song four, “Restless,” is posed as a ballad with its slow tempo and vocal focus, but has some more positive lyrics about feeling free and knowing good things will come. “LA River” is a roughly minute-long track with barely-comprehensible vocals and straining-sounding, wailing guitars. It feels very out of place on a hi-fi record. On the other hand, “Open Up The Heavens” is a well produced, easily understandable, groovy song that’s got an infectious melody. After “Open Up The Heavens” comes “Invincible,” a song that definitely could have ended about a minute and a half earlier and it would’ve been an improvement. “Wilshire Protest” wasn’t much better, bringing back the strained guitar heard on “LA River.” The next two tracks, “Luck Down” and “Ordinary Idols” sound like the average pop rock songs on the radio, nothing too impressive or interesting, while “Cameras Always On” sounds like a demo of a chorus of a song, sung with just a piano. A lot of the songs on LA Divine could have been dropped, while others could have been shortened, and it would have made the record much better.
Overall: Each song on LA Divine is hit or miss, with few that actually stand out and most that are skippable.
Review by Shane Haley