The War on Drugs' third album is evocative and pleasant if you let it float by. But its hooks sink in deep.
Stream Lost in a Dream from NPR Music’s First Listen.
Coming off the heels of 2012’s triumphant Slave Ambient, The War On Drugs are back with their blockbuster follow up Lost in A Dream. Stream it now on NPR Music.
Even as one my most hotly anticipated release’s of 2014, it’s actually more blockbuster-ific than I expected. Lost in A Dream adheres to a “bigger is better” formula. From “Under The Pressure” to “Disappointment,” the first five anthems run over thirty minutes. Maybe it’s just unfiltered and as long as it needs to be, still, as spectacular and rousing as it is, it’s a lot to digest. The War On Drugs’ ambient tendencies have been unshackled, in this dream their music seems without limitation.
Last week, Stereogum worked to own the album’s story by issuing a whopping, thick feature on Adam Grundaciel and The War On Drugs. Despite it’s, perhaps purposefully, superfluous writing, it’s a must read if you’re into the band. Still, Ryan Leas is on point when ruminating about Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the LP’s nearly endless recording and editing sessions, and the album’s run time.
This at once makes Lost In The Dream a more naturalistic and a more idiosyncratic listening experience. The ethereal and the human, forms abstract and concrete, are collapsed together into singular pieces. Rather than another album built around memories seeping in between tracks, Lost In The Dream is a record composed of songs that echo themselves.
Admittedly, I’m still working on my opinion of this new one. It took living with Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze for it to finally connect with me. I think I’m waiting for my heart to heart with this LP, but it is unmistakably big and beautifully rendered vision.
The War On Drugs
Lost In A Dream is out March 18th on Secretly Canadian.