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The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 10-29-21 – 11-4-21 The War On Drugs’ “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” Reviewed

This was meant to be the one, this is where Adam Granduciel walks through twelve years of recordings, right past former Kurt Vile, into the world of rock and roll superstars, and the world gasps at the last grasp on 60s-70s folk rock by any other name, deeply indebted to Neil Young, takes a stand for 2022. Unfortunately, while I Don’t Live Here Anymore is good, it remains not good enough. Starting at the top, the ballad “Living Proof” followed by a seriously excellent anthem “Harmonia’s Dream” promises an experience not unlike hearing Harvest for the first time. And later on, Adam steals “Boys Of Summer” and a concept more recently persuaded by Finneas “A Concert Six Months From Now” though Adam takes down names (Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to be precise).

Those three songs are real good, and the Byrds ringing acoustic guitar of “Occasional Rain” is a nice outro as well, but nothing else clicks. He feels 52 minutes with 30 minutes of snoozes. “Change” has the ingredients but he deeps out of the track on the verse, all yearning blah, “Victim” is a dead end of shimmering rock and triplets on the drums, “Old Skin” is a slow ballad that loses the good will directly after “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” and while the harpo bridge is pleasant enough and gives it something the album needs with instrumental shading, it doesn’t do it.

The entire album misses the mark, not by enough to make it a disaster, but enough for the punching of Adam’s rock god passport seems premature even while he is 42 years of age. I don’t resent him, I could never resent a band selling nosebleeds at their MSG gig for thirty bucks this January 29th (so cheap I bought one despite not being such a huge fan).

Still, overall it is a dozy, junkie walking on a pretty daze vibe with classic rock leanings only darket midlife crises what crises, at its best it works fine and the rest of the time it is getting undeserved 5 star reviews from the NME

Grade: B

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