A Deeper Understanding

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A Deeper Understanding
A Deeper Understanding.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 25, 2017
Genre
Length66:13
LabelAtlantic
ProducerAdam Granduciel
The War on Drugs chronology
Lost in the Dream
(2014)
A Deeper Understanding
(2017)
Singles from A Deeper Understanding
  1. "Thinking of a Place"
    Released: April 22, 2017
  2. "Holding On"
    Released: June 1, 2017
  3. "Strangest Thing"
    Released: July 18, 2017
  4. "Pain"
    Released: August 3, 2017
  5. "Up All Night"
    Released: August 15, 2017

A Deeper Understanding is the fourth studio album by American indie rock band The War on Drugs. It was released on August 25, 2017, through Atlantic Records. The album was mixed by engineer Shawn Everett. The album won Best Rock Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.6/10[4]
Metacritic81/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
The A.V. ClubA−[7]
The Guardian4/5 stars[8]
The Independent3/5 stars[9]
NME4/5 stars[10]
The Observer4/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork8.7/10[12]
Q4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[1]
Uncut8/10[14]

A Deeper Understanding received acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 28 reviews, indicating universal acclaim.[5] According to Marcy Donelson of AllMusic, A Deeper Understanding "reclaims and explores the distinctive soundscapes, vastness, and haunted psyche of Lost in the Dream, and that in itself is significant."[6] On the same site, in a readers' poll by users it was ranked as the #1 album of 2017.[15] Mark Richardson of Pitchfork noted similarities with mid-'80s rock, stating it is "also a fascinating study in influence; it’s hard to think of a band with more obvious touchstones that also sounds so original."[12] Michael Bonner of Uncut Magazine described it as "some of the richest, most compelling and least lonely-sounding music of Granduciel’s career".[16]

In a less enthusiastic review for Slant Magazine, Josh Goller noted "the album's lyrics, however, can’t match this same level of musical precision, and Granduciel too often repeats the same vague sentiments using threadbare imagery."[17] The album's title was influenced by Kate Bush's song with the same name.[18][19]

It was nominated for International Album of the Year at the 2018 UK Americana Awards.[20]

At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, A Deeper Understanding won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.[21]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Drowned in Sound Favourite Albums of 2017
96
Exclaim! Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2017
9
The Independent The 30 Best Albums of 2017
29
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2017
39
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2017
11
RIOT Mag RIOT's Albums Of The Year 2017
9
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2017
6
Uncut 75 Best Albums of 2017
2
Vinyl Me, Please The 30 Best Albums of 2017
12

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Adam Granduciel, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Up All Night"6:23
2."Pain"5:30
3."Holding On" (Granduciel, Robbie Bennett)5:50
4."Strangest Thing"6:40
5."Knocked Down"4:00
6."Nothing to Find"6:10
7."Thinking of a Place"11:10
8."In Chains"7:20
9."Clean Living"6:28
10."You Don't Have to Go"6:42
Total length:66:13

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA)[58] Gold 15,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[59] Gold 20,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hermes, Will (August 24, 2017). "A Deeper Understanding". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Jones, Chris. "The War On Drugs: A Deeper Understanding – rehashing the psychedelic Americana formula". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  3. ^ Grow, Kory (September 13, 2017). "The War on Drugs on the Sonic Roots of 'A Deeper Understanding'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Reviews and Tracks for A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs". Metacritic. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Donelson, Marcy. "A Deeper Understanding – The War on Drugs". AllMusic. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Gerardi, Matt (August 25, 2017). "The War On Drugs' biggest album thrives on its smallest details". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  8. ^ Mumford, Gwilym (August 24, 2017). "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding review – the expansive sound of love and loneliness". The Guardian. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Gill, Andy (August 24, 2017). "Album reviews: Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains, The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding, and more". The Independent. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  10. ^ Beaumont, Mark (August 24, 2017). "The War On Drugs – 'A Deeper Understanding'". NME. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Snapes, Laura (August 27, 2017). "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding review – deeper but not darker". The Observer. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (August 25, 2017). "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  13. ^ Segal, Victoria (September 2017). "Medicine Man". Q (376): 104.
  14. ^ Anderson, Jason (September 2017). "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding". Uncut (244): 24.
  15. ^ "The 2017 AllMusic Readers' Poll".
  16. ^ Bonner, Michael (August 29, 2017). "The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Uncut Magazine. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  17. ^ Goller, Josh (August 10, 2017). "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding". Slant Magazine. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Fenwick, George (August 31, 2017). "Album review: The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  19. ^ Rees, Paul (December 1, 2017). "THE WAR ON DRUGS". Classic Rock. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Ellwood-Hughes, Pip (November 8, 2017). "Robert Plant to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at UK Americana Awards 2018". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  21. ^ Atkinson, Katie (January 28, 2018). "Grammys 2018 Winners: The Complete List". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of 2017". Drowned in Sound. November 22, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  23. ^ Exclaim! Staff (November 29, 2017). "Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, 10 to 1". Exclaim. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "The 30 best albums of 2017". The Independent. November 27, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  25. ^ "NME's Albums of the Year 2017". NME. November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2017". Pitchfork. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  27. ^ "RIOT's Albums Of The Year 2017". RIOT Mag. January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  28. ^ Stereogum Staff (December 5, 2017). "The 50 Best Albums of 2017". Stereogum. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "Uncut's 75 Best Albums of 2017". Uncut. November 21, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "The 30 Best Albums of 2017". Vinyl Me, Please. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  31. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  32. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
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  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  35. ^ "The War on Drugs Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  36. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201735 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  37. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  39. ^ "The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  40. ^ "Lescharts.com – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  41. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
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  43. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  44. ^ "Charts.nz – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  45. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  46. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  47. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  48. ^ "Top 100 Albumes — Semana 35: del 25.08.2017 al 31.08.2017" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
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  52. ^ "The War on Drugs Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  53. ^ "The War on Drugs Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  54. ^ "The War on Drugs Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  55. ^ "Jaaroverzichten Albums 2017". Ultratop. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
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  57. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2018". Ultratop. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  58. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2018". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  59. ^ "Dutch album certifications – War on drugs – A deeper understanding" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter A deeper understanding in the "Artiest of titel" box.