The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore review

You’d forgive War On Drugs supremo Adam Granduciel for grinning when less switched on commentators apply the phrase ‘overnight sensations’ to his band in the next few weeks. He’d probably smile and shrug, because as I Don’t Live Here Anymore prepares to threaten the top of the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic, it feels like the destination he set out for in the early noughties is finally in reach – if indeed, he ever intended to get there.

Bystanders will also be amused at the equally gradual swing in critical mood from that applied to their earlier efforts, times when some of the kindest comparisons were to Bob Dylan and more contemptuously, Dire Straits. Rather than react, Granduciel simply held on to his vision, building momentum quietly via 2014’s Lost In The Dream and last release A Deeper Understanding. His admirable refusal to compromise means this latest chapter is definitively a career point of no return.

All this would be just words though if I Don’t Live Here Anymore didn’t wholly satisfy the mutually inclusive threads of validating long established fans whilst also offering thrills to the legions of newcomers. Both should have loved the album’s title track with it’s gospel-tinged chorus and shining road trip aesthetics, but repeated listens prove it wasn’t just smart selection, Harmonia’s Dream, Victim and Rings Around My Father’s Eyes all the work of a songwriter reaching new peaks, with the rest inferior only in subjective terms. Turns out there’s a new band at the top of rock n’ roll. Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

You can read the full review here.


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