The War On Drugs' fourth studio album, originally released in 2017, is repressed on double translucent tangerine vinyl and is a one-time pressing. This vinyl release is a part of Atlantic Records' 75th Anniversary vinyl collection.
For much of the three-and-a-half year period since the 2014 release of Lost in the Dream, The War On Drugs' frontman Adam Granduciel led the charge for his Philadelphia-based sextet as he holed up in studios in New York and Los Angeles to write, record, edit, and tinker — but, above all, to busy himself in work. Teaming up with engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), Granduciel challenged the notion of what it means to create a fully realized piece of music in today's modern landscape. Calling on his bandmates — bassist Dave Hartley, keyboarding Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez — continuously throughout the process, the result is a "band record" in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. Through those years of relocation, the revisiting and reexamining of endless hours of recordings, unbridled exploration and exuberance, Granduciel's gritty love of his craft succeeded in pushing the band to great heights.
The War on Drugs' debut for Atlantic Records, A Deeper Understanding, is very much a follow-up to the group's critically acclaimed Top 30 breakthrough Lost in the Dream from three years prior. That album's notoriously meticulous blend of heartland rock influences, Bob Dylan, and a swirling dream rock constructed of Wurlitzers, tape effects, analog synths, and 12-string guitar, just to name a few components, is, if anything, even more expansive here... A Deeper Understanding reclaims and explores the distinctive soundscapes, vastness, and haunted psyche of Lost in the Dream, and that in itself is significant.
The obsessive studio work of Adam Granduciel creates a hermetic experience like no other. A Deeper Understanding is his most layered and meticulous album, a twilight world in which to lose yourself.
Imagine, somewhere on the LA airwaves, there's a station that you can only pick up from a convertible radio after midnight. Its skunk-blasted DJs play nothing but the distant, hazy sound of '80s soft rock – Bryan Adams, Foreigner, Don Henley's 'Boys Of Summer', Eric Carmen's 'Hungry Eyes' – merged together into an endless narcotic drawl of slick nightrider riffs and husky vocals that sound like Bruce Hornsby flicking a mullet over the raised collar of a red leather jacket. This, essentially, is where the music of The War On Drugs' Adam Granduciel lives, and lovers of the plush paranoia of 2014's breakthrough album Lost In The Dream will be relieved that his fourth outing doesn't touch that dial. From the opening highway piano judder of 'Up All Night' it's like losing yourself once more in some lost golden age of MOR. But Granduciel is a reinventor rather than a recreator – his vision of '80s pop-rock is warped through the prism of second-wave shoegaze. These songs revel in their spaciousness, like three- minute drivetime anthems from 1986 set free from their radio edits to muck around with 2017's oddest noises for seven minutes at a time. Granduciel's music is such a sumptuous wallow we don't mind moving forward by the inch. This is the only War On Drugs that should continue, because it's working. Tune in.
- Limited Edition One-Time Pressing
- Translucent Tangerine Vinyl
- Double LP
- Part of Atlantic Records' 75th Anniversary Vinyl Collection
- Gatefold Jacket
- Up All Night
- Holding On
- Strangest Thing
- Knocked Down
- Nothing to Find
- Thinking of a Place
- In Chains
- Clean Living
- You Don't Have to Go