on 13 September 2014
Absolutely superb. I bought this solely on the strength of the amazing Red Eyes having never heard anything by the artist before. On the first listen I liked it immediately. And it's improved ever since. I now love it. It's impossible not to hear echoes of Springsteen/Petty/Dire Straits/Fleetwood Mac and Dylan but it also has a unique sound all of its own. With regards to the Springsteen comparisons; think huge soundscapes, 'big skies' and the vast plains of North America rather than bursting blood vessels and hernia-inducing saxophone solos... It's so nice and refreshing to hear guitar tones drenched in reverb and a guitarist play an extended solo or two (or three or four!). The whole tone, production and use of pianos, keyboards and synths really does give the album a dreamlike quality (as its title suggests...).
The record is just full of beautiful hooks and chord changes. It sounds so effortless and yet its dripping with emotion. A few times I've felt a tear running down my cheek for no particular reason. It's that kind of record. Stunning stuff.
The only dud moment on the entire album is the 'instrumental'. I just don't think there is much need for it when most of the songs have extended instrumental sections themselves (yes, I'm nitpicking). Overall, it just feels a very honest, genuine and heartfelt piece of work. Very evocative. And very, very good.
on 23 March 2014
What an outstanding record this is. I have listened to The War on Drugs develop over their three albums. “Slave Ambient” was great but this is in another league. I bought it, played it, played it and played it. Not for a long’ long time have I been as impressed with an album and I have been buying records for over fifty years now.
The standout track for me is “Eyes to the Wind”. I defy anyone to play it once without wanting to immediately play it again. “An Ocean Between the Waves” is another amazing track. This is seriously good music played by seriously good musicians. Granduciel’s voice is superb and his song writing is wonderful. What a major talent he is.
I listen to a huge amount of music and have done so most of my life. When I listen to an album for the first time I always ask myself if I think I will be listening to it in a few years time. The answer is “no” for the vast majority as there is so much mediocre music around. Fortunately, every now and then an album comes out for which the answer is “yes“. P J Harvey’s “Let England Shake” was such an album. “Silence Yourself” by Savages is another. This, although in a totally different mould, is an album which, I feel, will stand the test of time.
So, we have sixty minutes of sheer pleasure. Not a weak moment on the whole album. Beg, borrow, steal or even buy a copy.
I appreciate this album has made many magazines "Best of" lists this year, and has been consistently praised throughout, nowhere more so than here on Amazon. I have to admit that at first I struggled to see what all the fuss was about. Sure, it's decent enough but I wasn't convinced on my first couple of listens that there is enough on here to justify such acclaim. But.... I have since returned to the album overr the past couple of weeks and have revised my opinion. I now agree, this is a very good album. So what? Well I just wanted to add my voice to the acclaim and reassure anyone who has not yet listened to this that it rewards repeated listens. It is an album you can absorb and wallow in. For what it's worth I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
There is always a nervousness when a band returns to the fray after releasing a superb album. The last War on Drugs album, 2011's "Slave Ambient" was in this reviewers humble opinion the best thing to come out of rock music that year. To use a sprinting analogy, it was a sort of "musical Usain Bolt", always edging some very fine competition. With Adam Granduciel in the driving seat the band has a musician totally in command of his muse. It sees him accurately mix echoes of Springsteen with Can, of Petty with Neu and yet still produce a sound all of his own. Granduciel is also in a healthy competition with Kurt Vile, his Philadelphia comrade and former WOD member, that also seems to be pushing both musicians to scale new quality benchmarks. It is thus most pleasing to report that "Lost in a Dream" is every bit a match for its predecessor and a mighty album. The extra dimension is that it is also proudly a classic rock album something that certain commentators seem over ready to declare redundant.
The whole thing kicks off with a nine minute song "Under Pressure". Immediately all the WOD ingredients come together with a big build up, the melodically following guitar lines, a synthesised pause in the songs middle only for the song to return with extra power and fade out over waves of sound. An extra dimension on this new album is that Granduciel's vocals are now firmly up front in the mix. You finally realise what great singer he is, not least when the Dylanesque tones hits particularly on the lines "When it all breaks down, and we're runaways/Standing in the wake of our pain/And we stare straight into nothing/But call it all the same," The single "Red Eyes" that follows is pounding heartland rock which demands the windows rolled down and the volume turned up. Granduciel however slows down after the opening fireworks with the plaintive slow blues of "Suffering' one of his most personal and touching songs to date.
One highlight follows another. The pile driving guitars of the "Ocean in Between the Waves" is followed by the haunting "Disappearing" with hints of Buckingham/Nicks. It is one of the standouts "Eyes to the Wind" which trumps all these. After hearing this Springsteen, Dylan and Petty should camp outside the War on Drugs studio and refuse to leave until Granduciel agrees to collaborate with them. It is a fantastic lyrical song, that is completely addictive and worth the price of entry in its own right. Images are woven of "A cold wind blowing down my old road/Down the backstreets where the pines grow/Where the river splits the undertows". On the excellent track "Burning" the band open out again and throughout this does feel much more of a collective effort than previous releases not least with the sterling support of piano player Robbie Bennett. "In Reverse" rounds off the whole kit and caboodle. This is a song that starts off as drone until the vocal seeps in and builds to a suitably redemptive climax.
Throughout this record there are places where Granduciel whoops in delight at the way the songs come together and fit perfectly. He now has a guitar tone that is distinctly his and a sound that can pulverize the listener yet never be overbearing or bombastic. "Lost in the Dream" is a beautiful sonic mix of wounded lyricism combined with overpowering melody. At its best rock music should offer escape and the prospect of redemption, this album succeeds on all counts.
on 15 January 2015
Great to hear someone unafraid to wear his '80s influences openly, and without irony. Beautiful album, reminds guys my age (mid 40s) of the better bits of their teenage years (Dire Straits, Springsteen, Don Henley), but it's still a very "now" record. There's a mystery to the almost distorting vocals on stand out track "Red Eyes", and the "whoa!" before the guitar breaks are some of the best and thrilling moments of my musical 2014
on 28 October 2015
I can only re-iterate what many others have already said about this fantastic album... It seems as if this is an homage to the more stirring, Autumnal aspects of a 1980s Bruce Springsteen (a genre that I was never that into at the time, but it sounds superb here); it's such a repeated pleasure to listen to. I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed an album as much as this for several years.
on 15 January 2015
I have to say that 'the lone voice of reasons' is a fool!! I'm not sure what music they like but they are surely tone deaf. This is an album of pure magnificence. As with Mark Lanegan Bands 'Bubblegum' and a few others I've not listed, this is a must have. I listen to and like many many genres of music so not blinkered and it is only my opinion but I know I'm right....... Buy this now
on 4 April 2014
Until Adam Granduciel's voice kicks in 46 seconds into 'Suffering', it would have come as no surprise had Stevie Nicks started singing 'Thunder only happens when it's raining...', such does the influence of Rumours and Tusk pervade this third album by The War On Drugs. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is no bad thing. The band's second album Slave Ambient was heaped with praise, and featured heavily in the top 10 lists of many pundits back in 2011. Three years on, and Granduciel has delivered a piece of work that laughs in the face of the graveyard third album that afflicts many bands with a modicum of talent and a dearth of ideas. Lost In The Dream is a an early contender for album of the year, but for hyperbole-phobes consider the evidence before dismissing the statement. By the second track 'Red Eyes', this is an album already in overdrive, awash with synths and driving guitars that push forward a melody so insistent that Granduciel whoops with the sheer joy of it all before thrashing into an irresistible guitar solo. With its cross between Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' and 'Sisters Of The Moon' intro, 'Suffering' slows down the pace beautifully, but fourth track 'An Ocean In Between The Waves' builds slowly, aided by a pulsing beat, into a swooning and swooping song with long guitar solos awash with reverb and ringing clear as a bell. From there onwards there is no looking back, with not a single duff track to be found. 'Eyes To The Wind' is simply lovely; 'The Haunting Idle' is a shimmering instrumental track with a ghostly clanging guitar sound that slips seamlessly into 'Burning', a song that creeps up slowly until it smashes into a lovely guitar intro. And so on.
Lost In The Dream is an album full of finely crafted songs, each one longish, with plenty of music in them - as others have noted, a proper rock album at a time when rock albums are no longer fashionable. It wears its heritage on its sleeve; Fleetwood Mac and Springsteen most notably, but it has its own very much up to the minute 21st century vibe too. Adam Granduciel has created a very fine piece of work that sounds fresh and original, while being simultaneously timeless. It's the best thing this reviewer has heard for some considerable time, an indication of a talent reaching its peak of creativity, and an album that will last. It will be interesting to see where Adam Granduciel's muse takes him and his band next.
on 5 July 2015
This is very much a review of the vinyl version of this album and should not be included anywhere else. It's a great album but I can only properly enjoy it via cd or MP3 format as I'm now on my second copy of the vinyl version (not purchased from Amazon) and it's no better than the one I had exchanged. The first had misaligned and ripped labels and sides one and two pressed horribly off centre and this affected the sound significantly. My latest copy seems ok, bar side 3 which is more or less unlistenable for the same reasons. Research suggests that lots of people have been affected by this issue so am amazed bad copies are still out there.
Just a massive shame because I'd recommend the album to anyone who's into music.
I bought this album purely on the strength of the single 'Red Eyes', which blew me away immediately. I can't say that I usually greatly enjoy long albums, but 'Lost In The Dream', which runs in length just a minute over sixty, is one of the exceptions. This very experimental, psychedelia folk/Americana record has enough mainstream indie-rock elements to make it commercial, and appealing to a wider audience. This is my first introduction to the band, and the best 'slow-burner' I've heard in a long time. Whenever I listen to this album, I do find it difficult not to become lost into it.
The War On Drugs' front man, guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter Adam Granduciet has a very expressive voice, which isn't all that dissimilar to the great Bob Dylan's. Certainly, the Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits influences on the music is unmistakable. Although Adam has admitted that this record came following a difficult period of depression, and feelings of isolation (of which I can very much relate to), 'Lost in the Dream' is very uplifting, as we hear him discovering the problems of his life through the songs, written with lyrics that direct and simple.
My personal favourite tracks are the catchy 'Red Eyes', the perfect song-for-the-road 'Eyes to the Wind', the very Dylan-esque 'Lost in the Dream', and the intoxicating 'Suffering'. You'll also notice that there's a real 1980s' alternative style present throughout many of the songs. This decade appears to have such a popular influence on many of the great artists of today.
Beautifully mellow, although some might say it's slightly 'boring' or even a little 'samey', but I love atmospheric and thought provoking music such as this. Just turn it up the volume, and lose yourself in it. If you do decide to buy 'Lost In the Dream', like me, you'll probably feel stronger for it.