Label: Atlantic Records
Released: 29th October 2021
The War On Drugs have always held something special about them. Their shimmery way of offering up vocalist and guitarist Adam Granduciel’s poetic prowess has deftly enamoured over the last decade.
Indeed, it’s been a while since we last heard from The War On Drugs; in fact, not since 2017’s ‘A Deeper Understanding’. In that time they’ve been working hard, hunkering down, and the shimmies are sounding shinier than ever, while the soulful understanding is more prescient.
Even the album’s title ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’ is a wonderfully over the top statement befitting its jewel-laden contents. A fully-blown effort of massive proportions, there’s a sense of wonder as they explore just where The War On Drugs can go. The sounds are luscious, even when at their barest bones, perfectly suiting the notions of dealing with this crazy game called life.
Though, undoubtedly all that time and money is worth it. The War On Drugs work best when creating an explosive, expansive and immersive cacophony that feels like staring into the most joyously psychedelic of abysses.
This time around, they’re going hell for leather, and it pays off. It feels so melodious it’s perhaps a tad indulgent, but we can forgive them. Even the occasional lyric repetition where Adam’s “The victim of his own desire” is a bit eye-roll (‘Victim’), but soaking it in urgent twinkling echoes takes that edge right off.
It’s great to have The War On Drugs back; ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’ is more than a return to form, it’s a powerful and ambitious leap to the future.