A Deeper Understanding [Digipack]

A Deeper Understanding [Digipack]

by The War on DrugsThe War on Drugs


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The War on Drugs' debut for Atlantic Records, A Deeper Understanding, is very much a follow-up to the group's critically acclaimed Top 30 breakthrough Lost in the Dream from three years prior. That album's notoriously meticulous blend of heartland rock influences, Bob Dylan, and a swirling dream rock constructed of Wurlitzers, tape effects, analog synths, and 12-string guitar, just to name a few components, is, if anything, even more expansive here. The Drugs recorded it as a six-piece with frontman/songwriter Adam Granduciel, bassist Dave Hartley, who's been in the picture since the band's debut, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall, and multi-instrumentalists Jon Natchez and Anthony LaMarca, all but the latter of whom contributed to Lost in the Dream. There's no compromising to be found on their major-label debut, the first of a two-record deal that promises complete creative control to Granduciel. (To underscore that point, the first track released from A Deeper Understanding was the over-11-minute "Thinking of a Place.") The set's ten tracks drift unhurriedly over a course of more than an hour. Included along the way are a few additional timbres, such as the skittering electronic effects and stucco guitar textures of opener "Up All Night," the unexpected glint of glockenspiel on the bass-propelled tune "Holding On," and the saxophone on "Clean Living" with its sound distorted like a reflection. At first, these details hint at a possible redesign -- then just as quickly they don't, as ears adjust to the broader palette. They weave their way into the hazy reverb, restrained pitch range, and shimmering, engulfing atmosphere that manages to never overpower Granduciel's gentle ruminations on relationships, overcoming, and just coping. Though there's nothing here to grab headlines, A Deeper Understanding reclaims and explores the distinctive soundscapes, vastness, and haunted psyche of Lost in the Dream, and that in itself is significant. [This CD edition of A Deeper Understanding is packaged in a digipack and includes a 16-page booklet with lyrics.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/2017
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075678660634
catalogNumber: 561934
Rank: 23391


  1. Up All Night
  2. Pain
  3. Holding On
  4. Strangest Thing
  5. Knocked Down
  6. Nothing to Find
  7. Thinking of a Place
  8. In Chains
  9. Clean Living
  10. You Don't Have To

Album Credits

Performance Credits

War on Drugs   Primary Artist
David Hartley   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Glockenspiel,Background Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar
Jon Natchez   Baritone Saxophone
Darren Jessee   Percussion,Drums
Parker Kindred   Percussion
Patrick Berkery   Percussion,Drums
Carter Tanton   Acoustic Guitar
Otto Hauser   Percussion,Drums
Adam Granduciel   Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Drums,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Sampling,Mellotron,Vibes,Korg,Wurlitzer,Vox Organ,Linn Drum,Juno,Analogue Synthesizer,Guitar (Nashville),Prophet 5,Vox Jaguar
Charlie Hall   Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Vibes
Michael Bloch   Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Max Hart   Pedal Steel Guitar,Prophet Synthesizer
Josh Kauffman   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Robbie Bennett   Organ,Piano,Celeste,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Prophet Synthesizer,fender rhodes
Holly Laessig   Background Vocals
Anthony LaMarca   Acoustic Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Jess Wolfe   Background Vocals
Michael Johnson   Arp Odyssey
Meg Duffy   Slide Guitar
Louise Hayat-Camard   Background Vocals
Paloma Gil   Background Vocals
Sterling Laws   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Nicolas Vernhes   Engineer
Shawn Brackbill   Photo Booklet
Jeff Zeigler   Engineer
Rob Carmichael   Art Direction
Nick Krill   Engineer
Shawn Everett   Engineer
Adam Granduciel   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Art Direction,Arp String Ensemble
Max Hart   Oberheim Expander
Daniel Schlett   Engineer
Robbie Bennett   Composer
Gabe Wax   Engineer

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