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Cold War Kids Are Back 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts

Cold War Kids

Downtown

In "Miricle Mile," the opening track, of Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, Cold War Kids front man Nathan Willett jumps down your throat defiantly screaming, "I cut my ties, I sold my rings, I wanted none of this," as the piano and snare angrily thump away.

This is the music the Long Beach, Calif., band is supposed to make. The rich piano-laden and emotionally charged thunderous rock we remember from 2006's "Hospital Beds" or 2008's "Every Valley Is Not A Lake," not the subdued, almost flaccid pop of its 2011 album Mine is Yours, which many fans thought was a mistake in direction. To borrow a line from music blogger Emily Poncetta at Let Your Ears Decide: "It's as if their last album never happened."

Each song on the new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, announces that premise. The anthem "Lost That Easy" borrows a Daft Punk synth line to underscore Willett's wailing voice, which is again the focal point of the hollowed-out, John Lennon-esque ballad "Tuxedos." Even quieter songs, like the heartfelt, drum-dominated title track, ebb with the weight of an ocean.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is a freight train of an album that screams by, barely pausing to catch a breath.

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