The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient LP
“The War On Drugs do this thing where they blur out all their comforting reference points, causing you to squint and and lean your head in close to find their roots and even if you were to try to pin-point a defining identity to Slave Ambient, it would only be one of many definitions that would be fit to serve the album. Slave Ambient is an impressionists’ take on Americana, rendered in the abstract, creating a beautiful balance between the past and the future tenses of music.
Adam Granduciel’s stories unfold just like forefathers of American rock n roll –Dylan, Petty, et al. — where pitches are stumbled upon, highways are dreams and dreams are highways, women are named “babe” or “baby”, and perfect progressive verbs reign supreme. After years of lineup changes, including the departure of fellow singer-songwriter extraordinaire Kurt Vile, Granduciel is more forthcoming than on his previous albums, injecting careful thought and emotion into lyrics. “I thought I had him by the hand/I only had him by the gloves” drawls Granduciel on the two-chord charmer “I Was There”. It’s one of many lyrics on Slave Ambient that you gives you the sense of being comfortable in some personal prison in your car or in a relationship, resigned to sing the blues.” - Alex Young for Consequence of Sound