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A Deeper Understanding
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Rating
Album: A Deeper Understanding
# Song Title   Time
1)    Up All Night More Info...
2)    Pain More Info...
3)    Holding On More Info...
4)    Strangest Thing More Info...
5)    Knocked Down More Info...
6)    Nothing To Find More Info...
7)    Thinking Of A Place More Info...
8)    In Chains More Info...
9)    Clean Living More Info...
10)    You Don't Have To Go More Info...
 

Album: A Deeper Understanding
# Song Title   Time
1)    Up All Night More Info...
2)    Pain More Info...
3)    Holding On More Info...
4)    Strangest Thing More Info...
5)    Knocked Down More Info...
6)    Nothing To Find More Info...
7)    Thinking Of A Place More Info...
8)    In Chains More Info...
9)    Clean Living More Info...
10)    You Don't Have To Go More Info...
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: Shawn Everett.
  • Recording information: Boulevard Recording (2015-2017); East West (2015-2017); Electric Lady (2015-2017); Future Past (2015-2017); Kawari Sound (2015-2017); Rare Book Room (2015-2017); Shawn's Truckstop Studio (2015-2017); Sonora Recorders (2015-2017); Strange Weather (2015-2017); Thump Recording (2015-2017); Uniform Recording (2015-2017); United Recorders (2015-2017); Vox Studios (2015-2017).
  • Photographer: Dusdin Condren.
  • 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. The Drugs recorded it as a six-piece with frontman/songwriter Adam Granduciel, bassist Dave Hartley, who's been in the picture since the band's debut, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall, and multi-instrumentalists Jon Natchez and Anthony LaMarca, all but the latter of whom contributed to Lost in the Dream. There's no compromising to be found on their major-label debut, the first of a two-record deal that promises complete creative control to Granduciel. (To underscore that point, the first track released from A Deeper Understanding was the over-11-minute "Thinking of a Place.") The set's ten tracks drift unhurriedly over a course of more than an hour. Included along the way are a few additional timbres, such as the skittering electronic effects and stucco guitar textures of opener "Up All Night," the unexpected glint of glockenspiel on the bass-propelled tune "Holding On," and the saxophone on "Clean Living" with its sound distorted like a reflection. At first, these details hint at a possible redesign -- then just as quickly they don't, as ears adjust to the broader palette. They weave their way into the hazy reverb, restrained pitch range, and shimmering, engulfing atmosphere that manages to never overpower Granduciel's gentle ruminations on relationships, overcoming, and just coping. Though there's nothing here to grab headlines, A Deeper Understanding reclaims and explores the distinctive soundscapes, vastness, and haunted psyche of Lost in the Dream, and that in itself is significant. ~ Marcy Donelson
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Granduciel is still more about layered textures and tight-woven phrases than he is about noodling, and anxiety still lurks under heady aural comforts, laid out in his nasal, Dylanesque vocal tones."

Spin - "It's not just that A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING is one of the best rock albums in years, but that the music itself is so expansive and enveloping that it feels like it should be everywhere."

Magnet - "A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING is the sound of a restless and gifted creative force expanding his reach and, in some cases, picking up where he left off."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "This is a band out ot revitalise the hoary old scarecrow of rock, stuffing it with lightning not sawdust....Exhilarating in places..."

NME (Magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "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."

Paste (magazine) - "The record finds significance in odd moments, and in subtle movements of crescendo and mood, perhaps displayed best on the reverb-y dream ride 'Strangest Thing.'"
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