The War On Drugs - Lost in the Dream
Secretly Canadian; 2014 (USA) Psychfolk, Alternative
Like ex-bandmate Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs produce songs that consistently exceed the three-minute length that one expects from most modern bands. At nearly nine minutes, the opening track, “Under the Pressure,” drives forward with Dylan-esque vocals; the beat almost Krautrockian in that it feels like it could just go on forever. Sooner than you think, you reach lead-single “Red Eyes,” perhaps the most heavily Springsteen-influenced track. It’s life affirming stadium rock with darker undertones that melt away any potentially cheesy edges. Lyrically, throughout this LP, Granduciel is focused on the pressures of day, the peace of night and wondering whether, in his finest hour, he “can be more than just a fool.” His songs reflect the dark situation he’s found himself in but at no point does he sound defeated.
The only possible problem with this album is that at about 60 minutes, and with such a distinct sound, it can start to feel a bit same-sy. However, this is only a drawback if listened to outside of its ideal context. This is very much a slow-burning record that captures the timelessness of night – the perfect soundtrack for a long contemplative drive. In a situation where you might get “lost in the dream or just the silence of a moment,” you can’t help but wish Lost in the Dream would never end.