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The 5 best albums of 2011 – The War on Drugs

Mixing the traditional sounds of Americana with the hypnotic drone of Krautrock isn’t a new trick – as anyone who has listened to A Ghost is Born by Wilco can testify – but it can be a very satisfying one when done well. And few have done it as well as The War on Drugs manage on Slave Ambient. Conjuring up low-slung ambient grooves and mixing them with a heady blend of vocals and imagery that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tom Petty album, Adam Granduciel and company created some of 2011s most extraordinary music.

‘Your Love Calling my Name’ is the kind of loping groover you could imagine Can being happy to put their name to, while ‘I Was There’ is blissed, insistent and downright classy. Unlike many traditional bands feeling their way through ambient, there’s no loss of melody in search of sound. Every track remains with you long after it has departed. The War on Drugs, they say, is neverending. On this form, that’s a good thing.

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