A Deeper Understanding

The War On Drugs
Non-Airable Tracks: 
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Album Art: 

This is a very tight, sleek record. The instrumentation is perfectly crafted to where it crescendos into something greater than the sum of its parts. Overall, A Deeper Understanding is a fantastic record, and what we've come to expect from The War on Drugs. Frontman Adam Granduciel manages to perfectly integrate 80s influenced synth rock with a Springsteenish authenticity, and the result is a record full of anthemic, awesome rock songs. The sleekness of the record hides the obsessively layered tracks, and the complexity of the different instruments perfectly adds to the overall sound. The layering also stands in stark contrast to the lonely, alienating feel of the record which creates a very interesting vibe. This is the kind of music you listen to while driving around at night after your signifigant other breaks up with you. If you're worried about the band's sound after Kurt Vile's departure, don't be. The lack of Vile's noodley guitar playing results in a compact, concise sound that flows fantastically. The songs slowly begin to peak and then break into frenetic bursts of energy. Granduciel manages to make the juxtaposition of the Springsteen themes  and Pitchforky song composition sound organic and from the heart--the xylophone on "Holding On," adds a touch of authenticity akin to the song "Thunder Road," despite its technical undertones. Bands like Imagine Dragons and Twenty-One Pilots have slowly been making me lose faith in rock music, but oh my god does The War on Drugs pick up their slack. Atmospheric arena-rock initially seems to be an oxymoron, but A Deeper Understanding combines the two, making for an amazing result that can appeal to both the dad-rock and Pitchfork crowds. This is a really, really good album. Definitely give it a listen.

Sounds Like: 
The Gaslight Anthem
Sounds Like: 
Kurt Vile
Recommended Tracks: 
Strangest Thing- starts off slow and emotional but builds into an impressive tour de force
Holding On- classic War on Drugs awesomeness
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: