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A Deeper Understanding Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 152 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the Philadelphia indie rock band led by Adam Granduciel is its first on the Atlantic label.
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Top Track

Holding On
Once I was alive and I could feel I was holding on to you And I redefined the way I looked at dawn inside of you I went down a crooked highway I... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Aug 25, 2017
    91
    With much higher expectations weighing on the band, it’s produced a successor that shines up and builds on that breakthrough in every way.
  2. Aug 25, 2017
    87
    It’s the impossible sweep and grandeur of the music that tells the real story, of how a rush of sound can take us somewhere we can’t explain.
  3. 83
    Instead of trying to recreate the heightened catharsis of Lost In The Dream, A Deeper Understanding suggests a viable path forward from that turning point, a journey blown out to widescreen proportions that breathes new life into a familiar sound.
  4. Uncut
    Aug 1, 2017
    80
    The results is some of the richest, most compelling and least lonely-sounding music of Granduciel's career. [Sep 2017, p.24]
  5. Aug 21, 2017
    80
    A Deeper Understanding represents another step forward for the War on Drugs, and is among their most ambitious, consistent, and emotionally searing works yet.
  6. Aug 24, 2017
    70
    A big, bold sound isn't a bad thing, but the fact that this album is a little less engrossing than the band's past efforts shows that the most interesting thing about the War on Drugs' music isn't the way they channel their rock influences, but the way they subvert them.
  7. Mojo
    Aug 1, 2017
    60
    A Deeper Understanding is exhilarating in places, but perhaps inevitably, give n it's long and convoluted gestation, it can at times feel like it's trying too hard. [Sep 2017, p.90]

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Sep 14, 2019
    10
    Just perfect. .
  2. Oct 16, 2017
    10
    One of the best albums of the year, for me the pulse of this one just demands for many repeated listens, each more satisfying than the next.One of the best albums of the year, for me the pulse of this one just demands for many repeated listens, each more satisfying than the next. Feels more intimate than "Lost in the Dream" but with all of that record's charms. "Pain" may be my favorite TWOD song. Expand
  3. Mar 17, 2018
    10
    Adam Granduciel’s obsession with studio perfection brings such fulfillment to the arrangements of A Deeper Understanding that even though someAdam Granduciel’s obsession with studio perfection brings such fulfillment to the arrangements of A Deeper Understanding that even though some passages in songs like Strangest Thing might seem chaotic, the absolute harmony is astounding and brings me so much joy. Expand
  4. Sep 5, 2017
    9
    I'd been trying to find some real music for the last couple of months until I heard this. It's what I've been looking for - engrossingI'd been trying to find some real music for the last couple of months until I heard this. It's what I've been looking for - engrossing melodies, driving rhythms and a sense that it lives both in today and the past. Like the best music it carries me away to new places and opens my imagination to the possibility of sound. Expand
  5. Sep 18, 2017
    9
    This is a beautiful and amazing artistic effort. Somehow, its intricate construction, consistent perspective, and gifted musicianship take itThis is a beautiful and amazing artistic effort. Somehow, its intricate construction, consistent perspective, and gifted musicianship take it beyond genre to a space of truth. I hear so many references and influences, and yet twod take those elements and more to create a sound simultaneously new and familiar. it's mature rock not pop candy and the instruments just rock steady. I'm not accustomed to writing a review of anything, and so if I'm falling into old tropes or whatever it may be due to that, but to me, comparisons to earlier albums, or bands that sometimes sound similar, are not useful. 'A Deeper Understanding' is somehow genre-defying and brilliant at the same time. For me the shine lies in its honesty, beauty, and craft. It does what the only the best rock can do -- power a party, give hope, open up emotional space, and simply, matter. It's as good as anything I've heard in a long long time. Let twod take you someplace special. Expand
  6. Sep 12, 2017
    8
    The combination of fearlessness to sound simple and inventiveness in musical structure was incredibly rewarding, with the many bold melodicThe combination of fearlessness to sound simple and inventiveness in musical structure was incredibly rewarding, with the many bold melodic formations, creative stretched harmonic loops, and thoughtful, gorgeous builds in sound delivering some timeless music and one of the year’s best albums. My Score: 147/180 (Great) = 8.2/10 Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2017
    8
    Really spacey album by the War on Drugs. If you like Lost in the Dream, this is much more of the same and you'll probably enjoy it. That beingReally spacey album by the War on Drugs. If you like Lost in the Dream, this is much more of the same and you'll probably enjoy it. That being said it is a slower burn and some songs can get pretty loud and hectic with the guitar at points, more so than any of their previous albums. Still a great listen and definitely one of the top albums of the summer. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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