Cold War Kids Albums, Ranked

A fan of the soul-punk band best known for "Hang Me Up to Dry" ranks their albums.
  1. 1.
    Loyalty to Loyalty (2008)
    This album sounds like a flawless live performance captured at a packed jazz club. Every song exudes what's so exciting about the band's chemistry--a controlled whirlwind of seemingly disparate pieces that are hypnotic on their own and explosive when combined. With the exception of the opener, the front half of the album is full of songs best sung at the top of your lungs. The back half is characterized by soulful contemplations that expand time.
  2. 2.
    Dear Miss Lonelyhearts (2013)
    After chasing overproduction and radio-friendly fare in their previous album, the band hit the reset button. They lost their lead guitarist to religion and brought on their longtime sound engineer and ex Modest Mouse-r, Dann Gallucci. In doing so, they struck the right balance between mainstream and decidedly indie. At a solid 10-track set where every song is a strong contender for a single, this is their "In Rainbows" or "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga."
  3. 3.
    Robbers and Cowards (2006)
    Their debut album introduced listeners to Nathan Willett's range of delicate falsetto to soulful wailing over playfully syncopated drum patterns and reverb soaked and soaring guitar riffs. While their unconventional song structures at times cut out the fat and at others felt meandering, they were always uniquely charming. The album could have left some tracks on a B-side, but the quirky rough edges are largely what's endearing about the album.
  4. 4.
    Mine is Yours (2011)
    This album was awaited with much anticipation and seemed to be a do-or-die project for the band. They garnered much buzz from their first album and critical love with some fan abandonment for their second. For their third album, they turned to the producer who helped indie-bands like Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon go big. The result was an overpolished, boringly smooth sentiment of what the band had previously represented. The album constructed to please everyone, pleased no one.
  5. 5.
    Hold My Home (2014)
    Mine is Yours was the band's blandest piece of work that almost served as a satire of a classic rock album...until Hold My Home was released. With only two of the original band members still standing, Hold My Home sounds like an LP made by a singer-songwriter who recruited whatever musicians were available for a weekend to fill in the holes on Willet's song demos. It's the aural equivalent of a tv episode from a long-running procedural in its second to last season.