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CD of The Week

Week of 9/07/20

    Cold War Kids - New Age Norms 2 (AWAL)

    When we last left Cold War Kids, they'd released New Age Norms 1, part one of a three-part series of mini-albums slated for release over the course of a year or so. That was way back in November 2019, almost 10 months ago (or 10 lifetimes ago). After pushing back New Age Norms 2 due to the uncertainty of many release dates this year, it finally landed in late August.

    New Age Norms 2 kicks off with the pounding piano and big fuzzy guitars of the rocking blues lament "Who's Gonna Love Me Now." "Obsession" is a stomping rocker that showcases frontman Nathan Willett's great voice, as does "Somewhere."

    On New Age Norms 1, the band spent a bit of time steering into territory that made them sound a bit too much like Maroon 5. They pull back a little on that vibe here, aside from the catchy but super-slick "You Already Know," where Willett lays into the Adam Levine-ish heights of his falsetto. "Ceiling Fan" brings more glossy pop tricks into the mix.

    New Age Norms 2 is exactly as advertised: a continuation of the glossier version of the veteran band's tried-and-true formula they've stuck to for years. The exception being the epic album closer "Catch Me Falling," with its gospel choir backing vocals and proggy guitars. Willett's lyrics and themes aren't breaking any new ground, with straightforward snapshots of relationship dynamics we've heard plenty of times before in songs like "Regret Regret" and "Somewhere." We can assume that New Age Norms 3 will drop in 2021… will we live in a new age by 2021 as well?

    Review by Joey O.

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