Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Album Review: The War On Drugs- Lost In The Dream

The War On Drugs
Lost In The Dream
***and1/2 out of *****
The usage of the word "the" comes up right at the beginning when digesting the newest album from  The War On Drugs. Lost In The Dream is the the title as opposed to "a" dream, there is a communal sense of oneness inherent in that switch. Instead of inward looking loner tunes this album spaciously feels all connected  via dreamy pop and nods to radio influences of past days to accomplish that.  

That word pops back up forecasting the same thing in the opening "Under The Pressure" as if we are all experiencing that same push down. Drifting and escapist but grounded in a hook that reminds of a digitally aged Dire Straits track. Echos and drama color "Red Eyes" in shades of Arcade Fire but the group fronted by Adam Granduciel seems to be looking back to the neon inspired decade for more inspiration then anything happening today.

The pumping of "An Ocean Between The Waves" was made for early 80's rock radio in the vein of really hip Bruce Hornsby cut. It goes and goes for 7+ minutes on the back of keys and rising vocals/guitar lines. Maybe not as successful with it's 80's love is "Disappearing" which recalls When In Rome's "The Promise" only with spacier guitars. The dream pop combo in general though seems warmer then other releases of this genre.  

"Suffering" mellows things out with lyrics about "both of us faking it" while "I am here suffering" behind swirls and piano lines; a gorgeous downer.Vocally Granduciel stays mostly behind the music except on the title track which places his singing at the forefront putting his confusion and Hornsby tendencies on display plainly. 

"Eyes To The Wind" starts a linking of songs by a Jackson Brown like strum some acoustic guitars over a positive progression that swells to include an easy saxophone. All that melts into a warbling interlude titled "The Haunting Idle" which "The Burning" pulses out of. The last in this series never reaches the heights it strives for but is a fun ride anyway.

The songs are long here but there is palpable sense of pop work infused in them. While never overly joyous the group has layered this record for the listening on a larger scale; Lost In The Dream with everyone.  
Interesting disk, we never got into the groups first release Wagonwheel Blues, but a friend just recommended we go back to give Slave Ambient a shot. This new one popped up first and the group has obviously improved, this is cool stuff.

Support the Band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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