Cold War | Heaven Divided
Music really tugs on the heart strings
A lot of the rhythms and patterns were similar to each other
4.0On repeat for a week

While I don’t typically listen to indie-rock, as I tend to listen to more heart-pumping music, I can’t deny that this album has a certain charm to it. This thirteen-track album managed to spark feelings of nostalgia, a feeling that is constantly being portrayed in this album. To be honest, listening to this album was like listening to Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”, both in style and emotion.
There’s not much to say about the first track, Fire, as it is just over thirty-four seconds long, but it does set the theme for the album; love, something that is apparent in track 2, Home for Summer. On top of being louder and having a more upbeat feel than the previous track, Home for Summer speaks of how the love of another was able to break the album’s protagonist (possibly a member of the band) from their “jaded shell” and create a path so that they can return home. Unfortunately, this ‘happy’ sentiment doesn’t last.
1983, the next track in the album, seems to be a contrast to Home for Summer. While it does have the same energetic and bright instrumentals as track 2, the message detailed by the lyrics is the opposite. Mental demons weighing down on the mind. Crippling loneliness. Pleading to be remembered. These things are anything but ‘happy’ and reflect the internal struggle of Jeff Berman as he tried to maintain his sense of self. The sense of desperation and pain is heavy in the lyrics, which makes it slightly off-putting to hear such lyrics coupled with the almost cheery background music.
The next track, Daughters & Sons, reestablishes the more positive feelings of the album, though it is not necessarily happy. The softer yet still energetic music almost seems to speak to the younger generation, telling them to challenge society’s current standards. Inciting a ‘rebellion’ with the love of the protagonist from and their love at its head. The music does get brighter during the chorus when the lyrics mentions rebellion, but the general rhythm is similar to that of the previous four tracks.
The remaining tracks take a downward turn, not in quality, but in the protagonist’s emotional state. Both Love Letter to New York and Dance with Old Habits take on a melancholic quality as the lyrics speak of how much things have changed and regret over actions not taken. As with 1983, the bright music doesn’t seem to match up with the lyrics, though that doesn’t make it unappealing. Maybe, We Should Say Goodbye, the albums seventh track, acts much like a conclusion to the sorrow generated from the previous two albums where, after having everything the couple worked for in their relationship begins unravel. Musically, it is also the sole track that stays at one energy level, remaining melancholic and sad throughout, aside from track 1.
The next track in the album, You Will Never Get Rid of This, is, to put it bluntly, a lie. It has a more hard-rock style with heavy drums and guitar and the lyrics, while hard to hear at times, speak of washing their hands of her, who I assume is the one he broke up with. While the lyrics go on about how he is fine without her and is moving on, it is clear that he still has feelings for her and is just deluding himself in order to stifle the pain, a pain that resurfaces in the remaining tracks.
Nightlife Youth, Delancey, Cold War, and Stay What You Are all start with slow and bright instrumentals that stir up feelings of nostalgia within the listener, perfectly reflecting how the protagonist is thinking back to his time with his old lover. He wonders if she thinks of him and if there is a chance that they can go back to the way things were. It is at the latter of these thoughts that the music becomes brighter and almost hopeful, leading to the final track, The Getaway. This track too has the same nostalgic feeling as the other tracks but it is more hopeful as the protagonist is stating that they were not, and still aren’t, ready to be with her and wishes for one last kiss as a way to say goodbye.
With The Getaway being the final track, that nostalgic sound made me think back to the previous songs of the album and how similar the styles really were. I’m not sure if it was initial or not, but it triggered a flashback to the story that the album was telling. Regardless, the album was very powerful in emotions. There were moments where I was lost in the music and found myself thinking of my past and how I wished things could go back to how they were. Divided Heaven truly made a splendid album.