A Deeper Understanding is the fourth studio album by American indie rock band The War on Drugs. It was released on August 25, 2017, through Atlantic Records. The album was mixed by engineer Shawn Everett. The album won Best Rock Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. A Deeper Understanding received acclaim from music critics.
On A Deeper Understanding, his first album for Atlantic, the synths get an extra twinkle, the bass-led builds get another octave of rumble, and some songs have a dozen instruments on them where they once might have had seven or eight. Holding On is packed with piano and celeste and a chugging acoustic, but the entire song is wrapped around the heavenly slide guitar from Anthony LaMarca and Meg Duffy, which uncurls like a plume of smoke and steals the song like a Robert Fripp solo. So yes, Springsteen, Dylan, Tom Petty, and Neil Young all made songs between 1983 and 1988 that sounded something like the War on Drugs, but they often had these booming gated drums, a technique Granduciel mostly avoids. Instead, he favors a steady, muted pulse evocative of krautrock’s motorik groove.
A Deeper Understanding is the fourth studio album from The War on Drugs. It was released on Aug. 25, 2017. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 2017 Grammys held on Jan. 28, 2018. A Deeper Understanding Q&A.
a deeper understanding" is my album of the year so far. the first time i listened to it (via headphones) I took two hits of strong blotter acid, was sitting at an urban river flowing between ancient old woods and imperial buildings. the moon was bright and the sound seemed to produce waves of emotion, euphoria and sadness at the same time. I suppose if I had one thing to say about the band War On Drugs, it’s that they forever seem to be starting over, where all that exists for them is this perfect moment in time. The Fun Facts: Regarding the band's name, Granduciel noted, My friend Julian and I came up with the name a few years ago over a couple bottles of red wine and a few typewriters when we were living in Oakland.
The cover of the fourth War on Drugs album is a red herring. Alone in a windowless room, songwriter Adam Granduciel looks up from his keyboard, apparently annoyed by an intruding photographer. A raft of obscure synths has given A Deeper Understanding a glitzy, gilded aura that makes Granduciel’s trademark lyrical tussle between comfort and the possibility of change more pronounced. They contrast beautifully with his weathered voice, no longer the Philly snarl of 2011’s Slave Ambient, but a longing, disembodied presence that distils this in-between state: All this living and no life, he sighs on Clean Living.
An album like "A Deeper Understanding" is relatively rare these days. You don't get too many 10 track records clocking in over the hour. It takes a committed listener to immerse themselves in a collection of songs averaging over 6 minutes but committment brings its own rewards and this is true on this album. It takes a while to truly enjoy but well worth the time investment. Listen to it through the best speakers/headphones you have as it is one of those records where it makes a big difference. That beingReally spacey album by the War on Drugs. If you like Lost in the Dream, this is much more of the same and you'll probably enjoy it. That being said it is a slower burn and some songs can get pretty loud and hectic with the guitar at points, more so than any of their previous albums.
Throughout A Deeper Understanding, The War On Drugs develop their strengths, taking what they do best and airing it out. A master class in widening scope, the record finds the band unafraid to push their sound in a way that feels bigger than what any of their contemporaries are doing. A Deeper Understanding suffers a bit just in that The War on Drugs are no longer new on the scene-the album is more a distillation of the formula they toyed with on previous albums. It's not as new anymore, but it sure sounds great.
But clearly The War On Drugs’ main man is used to the state of mind that typically accompanies the wee hours, which is not so surprising given his reputation for painstaking perfectionism. Plus there’s all the sunshine he encountered after decamping to Los Angeles to record most of A Deeper Understanding, even if Granduciel recently admitted his reference points for quintessential LA records are Warren Zevon and Tonight’s The Night rather than anything that sounds like it has a great tan. So even though much of the album may guide us through more long, dark nights of the soul, there’s a new brightness at the edges here, and more warmth, too.