The WAR ON DRUGS – ” A Deeper Understanding ” Best Albums Of 2017

Posted: October 25, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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It doesn’t take a musicologist to detect the influence of Dylan on Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs. When he sings, Granduciel leans into a line with the same needling inflections as Bob, aping his world-weary wheeze as well. The music Granduciel writes can’t help but make you think of another Dylan-devotee Mark Knopfler.

The War on Drugs explores the dreamy realms Dire Straits once roamed. The songs tend to last long—at least six minutes a piece, and up to eleven on the new album—luxuriating in sumptuous production, gripping melodies and guitars that glisten. Granduciel has been honing his valorized view of classic rock over four albums now, culminating in the new . He formed his band in Philadelphia in 2005, though they didn’t release their debut until three years later. The disc, titled , Wagon Wheel Blues glazed through an ambient haze. Granduciel has been clarifying his sound ever since. The latest album, the band’s first on a major label, shows the escalating budget in the lush production.

It also focuses Granduciel approach to his guitar. In his recordings, he favors sustained notes and repeated refrains over the more elaborate extensions he allows live. Luckily, the parts he writes for his sterling instrument have enough urgency to make his repetitions hypnotic. Some songs feature freer guitar work and a faster pace, like “Holding On” , with its bossy bass, and fleet drums. But more often the music holds to a measured beat and a cowed mood, mirroring lyrics that explore what Granduciel calls “the space between the beauty and the pain.”

Still riding the momentum from this recent release and their acclaimed fourth album A Deeper Understanding, The War on Drugs have shared the video for “Nothing to Find,” starring young actress Sophia Lillis (of IT fame), who embarks on a road trip with some sort of plant man.

Directed by Ben Fee, the offbeat video “presents the bittersweet story of two friends on a not-so-classic road trip adventure,” per a press release, following Lillis’ character and Plant Man as they commit petty theft, commune with nature, shoot pool and have a dance party, until eventually Plant Man falls ill and returns to the earth. For all its sweetness, the video is awfully sobering: Whether plant or person, we all have our time, it reminds us—or as Adam Granduciel sings, “There is nothing I can do if I am going away.” But the video’s closing moments, which we won’t spoil for you here, offer a glimmer of hope for what we may find in the hereafter.

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