The War On Drugs release I Don’t Live Here Anymore; three years in the making and a justified wait displaying our Philadelphian friends at the top of their game.
Released: 29th October 2021
Label: Atlantic Records
Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital
Like a good wine, The War On Drugs under the song writing prowess of Adam Granduciel, improve with age. According to The War On Drugs website, he never knows whether his current project will be his last I hope he continues to find inspiration for other material. If this is to be his swan song; then Granduciel and The War On Drugs leave a tremendous portfolio of music. It also renders the forthcoming tour a must see.
Their last studio outing, A Deeper Understanding, received a Grammy for Best Rock album in 2018 and on the back of this success, many of the tracks on the current album were borne . Now, with pandemic restrictions easing a little, I Don’t Live Here Anymore is complete and more nominations will follow.
Witnesses to Adam Granduciel baring his heart and soul in live performances and previous albums will instantly be in tune the opener Living Proof, which originates from one of the 2019 jam sessions . The simplicity of the acoustic song; which may sound like it still has its rough edges; offers beauty in not yet being given fully produced touches.
Harmonia’s Dream and Change are straight from The War On Drugs’ anthemic driving beat style. These tunes fill every space available and although the songs have a yearning theme they caress your ears warmly and fill your head with rock at its potent best. Honest and emotional without being mushy. There’s a level of sophistication without being clinical. They might not be raucous but there’s still energy and power.
Although Adam Granduciel’s guitar style is very distinctive and essential in creating The War On Drugs sound. He is willing to experiment with the fuzzy static electricity effect created on Victim is quite chilling but interesting.
Noted for being painstakingly meticulous in his search for the correct phrase or sonal quality, but remember his songs and music are like a personal journal of his life’s journey often referring to those closest to him so his almost obsessive desire for perfection is understandable.
The swirling melancholy of Rings Around my Father’s Eyes may leave you feeling cosy and comfortable. Don’t be fooled; the song toils with a feeling of lacking direction in our uncertain world with reliance on the support and protection from others abundantly clear. Final track, Occasional Rain, also expresses his anxiousness having suffered loss but this album ekes , musically and lyrically, ultimate control.
There is warmth in the big sound of The War On Drugs. This is shown by the connectivity within the band which pours out throughout the album, however there is tension too. If Adam Granduciel has an uncertainty about his own musical future, this album expounds musically and lyrically the uncertainty we all are experiencing as we recover and cope with the anxieties of personal and world issues.
As a pure listening experience the whole of I Don’t Live Here Anymore is a sheer delight with this ultra tight unit working at their very best.