CD review: The War on Drugs’ ‘Lost in the Dream’


Three and a half stars

The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream

In case The War on Drugs was in any danger of going down as “that band Kurt Vile used to play in,” remaining founder Adam Granduciel has taken another big step in cementing his own identity. Lost in the Dream, the Philly band’s second post-Vile full-length, fulfills the promise of 2011’s shimmering Slave Ambient, and while it might not feel as revelatory, it’s a gorgeous 60 minutes nonetheless.

Like Vile, Granduciel crafts tunes that feel both urgent and relaxed—“Disappearing” and “Under the Pressure” reach seven and nine minutes, respectively, without seeming stretched. “Red Eyes” and “Eyes to the Wind” recall Jackson Browne’s best road-rock moments (lyrics, from the latter: “Like a train in reverse down a dark road/Carrying the whole load/Just rattling the whole way home”). And ballads “Suffering” and “Lost in the Dream” ache with warm emotion. Some might say Lost in the Dream gets a tad sleepy toward the end, but it’ll make your heart swell all the same.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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  • At this point, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition.

  • Bassist Nate Brenner partners with leader Merrill Garbus for an approachable and dancey record.

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

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