The War on Drugs, ‘Pain’ | Track Review
On “Pain,” the third single from their fourth album ‘A Deeper Understanding,’ The War on Drugs add the third ‘cherry on top.’
Alt-rock six-piece band The War on Drugs released their third album, the universally acclaimed Lost in the Dream in 2014. They return in 2017 with A Deeper Understanding. They blessed us on promo single “Holding On,” which earned honors as one of our 30 Best Songs of 2017 (So Far) and reappeared in the revised, expanded edition a month later. Second single, “Strangest Thing,” gave us another gem to salivate over, if a smidge less notable than “Holding On.” Three weeks before the release of A Deeper Understanding, the band dropped single no. 3, “Pain.”
Interestingly, the pain of “Pain” begins lushly – warm as opposed to harsh or the least bit devastating. Furthermore, vocally, Adam Granduciel doesn’t sing in a hurt or pained manner. Nonetheless, Granduciel sings incredibly expressively, showcasing his beautiful tone and allowing the poetic lyrics to roll right off his tongue. The pain, hence, is lyrical.
“I met a man with a broken back / He had a fear in his eyes that I could understand / I can’t even shake the pain without breakin’.”
On the chorus, he sings:
“I’ve been pullin’ on a wire, but it just won’t break / I’ve been turnin’ up a dial, but I hear no sound / I resist what I cannot change, own it in your own way / Yeah, I wanna find what can’t be found.”
Besides great vocals and lyrics, another selling point is the gritty, biting guitar solo.
The War on Drugs didn’t need for the third time to be charm. After captivating with both “Holding On” and “Strangest Thing,” “Pain” is like the third cherry on top. It features lovely music and production work, poetic lyrics, and top-notch vocals from Adam Granduciel. It’s looking mighty good for the quality of A Deeper Understanding.