40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
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.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
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.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2015
Quite where this one came from is a bit of a mystery - from being just a great band to turning in something that will become a classic like this.
Definitely my album of 2014.
I would also mention that drummer Charlie Hall is probably the best drummer out there at the moment on the evidence presented here, and live. I'm not a drummer and don't usually notice drummers much, but this guy drives brilliantly - much in the style of the old Paul Thompson. The drumming is the key to this album being as great as it is, along with the great songs, great soundscapes and great guitars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2014
This is my first cd by T.W.O.D and what a great album, i love it. Brainier musical minds than mine when i read the reviews said how T.W.O.D were a cross between Petty, Dylan and Springsteen, and that is most definitely true. This has been in my car cd player since the day it arrived, a brilliant album and a must for anyone, especially those who enjoy any of the mentioned artists, you wont be sorry!!
Having come to War on Drugs through Slave Ambient and thoroughly enjoyed that I was anxious to try the next album.
Now for some quirk initially I was not as impressed; I’m putting that down to having a touch of ‘flu at the time, because these days it’s played at least once a day.
Whether it’s the fast paced uplift of Red Eyes or the haunting reflection of Lost in A Dream, this album has no filler track. There is much texture and melody within each, the music melding something of the old American laments of the 19th Century moving through the thoughtful folk and folk-rock of the 1960s and onto the challenge of Indy/Alternative of these days.
Much has been said about this already, this is only by own small contribution of affirmation for what has the qualities of being one of the top albums of 2015.
When I am ever in a sour or short-fuse mood (not uncommon), this album is played and I feel a whole lot better afterwards.