WAR ON DRUGS ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’


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This is a band that loves the heartland slant of Springsteen (singer Adam Granduciel’s son is named Bruce), channels Dylan’s vocal inflection to the point of imitation, and yet manages to do the impossible and transcend the impersonation to achieve something genuinely special. Since being formed in 2005 by Granduciel and Kurt Vile (who left the band shortly after the release of their first album in 2008), they’ve barely put a foot wrong. Their sequence of albums shows a band improving with every release, earning them a Best Rock Album Grammy in 2017 for their fourth record, A Deeper Understanding.

I Don’t Live Here Anymore, the band’s fifth studio record, continues to mine greatness from this well; lustrous synths envelop soaring guitars, drums keep time like their lives depend on it, and Granduciel is as elegiac as ever – a master of penning the saddest lyrics you’ll ever hear belted out in a stadium. But there’s a hint of change in the air; songs build towards tight pop choruses,  there are more vocal harmonies, the lyrics are direct, and there’s a newfound sense of restraint that, for the most part, is illuminating.