The War On Drugs - 'A Deeper Understanding'

9/10

When The War On Drugs released their third studio album 'Lost In The Dream' back in 2014, the band were met with more acclaim and attention than they ever had at the start of their career. That album became one of the favourites for many music journalists that year, so when creating its follow-up, the pressure to do so would have been more than most could handle. But with the greatest of ease, it seems the Philadelphia band have done it with album number four 'A Deeper Understanding'.

While this release certainly has more power behind it than their previous LP, the energy and engagement with the listener is clear from the very start. The record's opener 'Up All Night' is a six-minute dream-pop extravaganza that sets up more than just what to expect on this new release. It also makes the firm intension of showing how the band have evolved since their last record, mainly in their bold sense of production and drawn out soundscapes that leave frontman Adam Granduciel able to calmly croon his way through each track.

There may be some that see a strong semblance with Bruce Springsteen on this album, and while The Boss is clearly an inspiration, it is more about bringing back the energy and effort to US indie rock music. The genre has been so stale for so long that when something like this comes along, it truly feels like a breath of fresh air. 'A Deeper Understanding' not only follows on 'Lost In The Dream' with great elegance, it sometimes supersedes it.

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