You know what looks awful pretty in my current rotation Vinyl Storage Box? (Natural oak, by the way) The new War on Drugs album, "A Deeper Understanding."
As an avid record buyer, I get really excited when I look at future album releases. I get that tingly, "I may have to go to the bathroom feeling" like I used to get anticipating Christmas or my birthday. This week was an extra treat, because two bands that I love had new records dropping on the same day: Queens of the Stone Age and War on Drugs.
I often try to imagine what it was like in the late 60's when album release days included new records by The Beatles, or Stones, or Dylan, or Sabbath, or Isaac Hayes, or Aretha, and on and on. Were people aware that there was a better than good chance that what had just come out would be on their turntable for 50 years? Probably not. And I am not equating War on Drugs to bands or albums that in my opinion are bullet proof gold standard classics. That takes time. Its like diamonds forming.
But, this is 2017 and as an active member of the vinyl collecting community, I take great pleasure in listening to new albums and discovering the aural gold therein.
I'm not going to get into a lengthy review, you can look up a "star ratings" system somewhere else. If I'm writing about it here, then I'm excited about it enough to share. Besides, my current rotation box is not full of eternal classics, its more of a, "news of the week or month" box. A mix of crate digging finds, older purchases that I'm feeling, and new explorations.
War on Drugs falls into the latter category. But man, let me tell you, this album is a rich, full bodied audio trip into awesome.
Beautiful arrangements, performances, and production quality. You can get lost in the soundscapes, which are a unique mix of krautrock, psychadelica, 80's synths, and 70's guitar rock. I suppose this is the modus operandi of War on Drugs. They offer a complete experience for the listener. Whereby, the entire album, from songs, execution, and production is a complete world unto itself. Full immersion. Its not an easy trick. And I applaud Adam Granduciel (Mastermind) for putting it all together so beautifully.
So here's the, "influenced by..." game. It'll give you an idea of the pieces that made the puzzle: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. Dip these influences into 80's synths, propulsive krautrock percussion, distorted sax, and harmonies and you get War on Drugs.
If you like any of the above artists the I highly recommend giving this album a spin. Will it go down in history with the giants? Who knows. But right now I'm really enjoying the ride.
And that's one to grow on. Let us know what sitting in your LP boxes.