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'A Deeper Understanding'   

-  Label: 'Atlantic'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '25th August 2017'

Our Rating:
The sad passing of Tom Petty to the great gig in the sky does not mean that Bob Dylan's ghosts of electricity will lose their potency and longevity.

A Deeper Understanding is the kind of record you would like to think His Bobness might have made if he were 30 years younger.

The driving beats and richly layered widescreen arrangements give the album an epic scope while still managing to sound intimate.

Impressively, singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel not only plays half the instruments but he also produced the album.

The ten tracks are a long way from being protest songs but they invite an emotional response just the same.

Lyrically, nothing leaps out as being particularly profound or poetic not least because the words are often hard to make out.

It's the mood that matters and the image of Granduciel "stepping out into the light" on the opening track (Up All Night) suggests that the deeper understanding of the album title involves a coming to terms with pain and uncertainty. This song ensures the album hits the ground running thanks to the brilliant use of drum machine and shimmering synthesizers.

Holding On is equally inspired and light is again the metaphor for a source of wisdom and change: "I went down the crooked highway, I went outside the line, I've been rejected, now the light has turned and I'm out of time".

He gets Knocked Down but he gets up again so for the stirring Nothing To Find the moon is on the rise while on the elegant, eleven minute Thinking Of A Place he is "moving through the dark of a long black night" dreaming of light and love on the other side.

The final two tracks - Clean Living and You Don't Have To Go - end this long but well sequenced album in a more reflective manner.

This is the kind of record that manages to make old school long-hair rock sound contemporary and cutting edge.

The War On Drugs are a class act and this is a classy album.

The War On Drugs' website
  author: Martin Raybould

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WAR ON DRUGS, THE - A Deeper Understanding