Adam Granduciel spent 3 years working on The War On Drugs’ fifth LP released in October of 2021, I Don’t Live Here Anymore. Working with co-producer Shawn Everett, Granduciel logged many miles between New York and LA with various sessions taking place in both cities. The album mixes synths with the anthemic 80s rock of Springsteen and Petty. “Harmonia’s Dream” pushes the synths up in the mix where the “summer comes and rain gets in”. Granduciel sings “And I need your kiss/like I’m dressed in morning mist” on the energetic “Wasted”.
Perhaps capturing the feeling of bouncing between cities, the title track sings “I don’t live here anymore/but I got no place to go”. Members of the band Lucious sing on the chorus and lift the track into one of the highlights. Leaving the lushness of other tracks, first single “Living Proof” is a straightforward track with mostly just guitar and piano that adds a more naked vulnerability.
On “Change”, Granduciel wonders if he was “maybe born on the wrong day”. It’s not just the lyric itself but the way the words hang there while the music continues. There are a few dips on I Don’t Live Here Anymore, and a bit too much gloss in places where a more minimal sound would have been welcomed. What is transparent, is the overall longing and searching in the lyrics that makes the album a place where even the adults are still trying to figure things out.