The 5 Best Guitar Solos on The War On Drugs' 'A Deeper Understanding'
    • THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2017

    • Posted by: Olivia Lewis

    A couple weeks ago, indie rock band The War On Drugs released their fourth studio album, A Deeper Understanding. Amid 80s rock influences, glittering synth and gritty guitars, the album provides no shortage of emotional, soaring solos. While some are more understated, a few stand out in the mix, bringing their respective songs to new heights. And more specifically, there is no shortage of excellent guitar solos. Here are the best five.

    5. "You Don't Have To Go" - 2:20


    On this particular solo, the guitar doesn't really grab the spotlight so much as it shimmers right on the surface of the rest of the instrumentation. The solo guitar weaves itself into the fabric of the musical break, acting almost like a call-and-response with the piano, which is more buried in the mix.

    4. "Up All Night" - 2:58


    Compared with the guitar solo in "You Don't Have To Go," this solo is much more upbeat, gritty, and constantly evolving. The gritty guitar breaks up the smoother, 80s-esque sound as it takes the spotlight around the 3-minute mark in the song. Beginning with a repeated riff, the solo quickly evolves into an unrestrained melody. As the solo reaches new heights, it starts to melt back into the background as the rest of the instrumentation picks up again.

    3. "Pain" - 3:44


    In a classic guitar solo move, the second solo in "Pain" begins with a slower, syncopated rhythm that resists the steady drive of the drums and then settles on one note, derailing its original rhythm as the playing of that one note becomes faster and more hectic. The solo also evokes and mirrors the song's theme of pain as its sonic quality becomes grittier and more plaintive.

    2. "Thinking of a Place" - 3:03


    The solo in "Thinking of a Place" is especially explorational, taking turn after turn through various melodic ideas. The movement of the solo mirrors the themes of the song, which talks about "moving through the dark of a long dark night, just moving with the moon."

    1. "Strangest Thing" - 4:28


    The guitar solo about four and a half minutes into "Strangest Thing" is the biggest stand-out solo on the album. The whole song steadily grows until that moment the guitar breaks out into an intense solo. More than any moment on the album, this moment soars. This guitar solo is a definitive climax of "Strangest Thing," and perhaps of the whole album.
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