Review Summary: Its engrossing atmosphere will make you feel a wide range of emotions.
Over the course of its hour long running time, Lost In The Dream
manages to evoke many feelings and sensations. Whether it be euphoria, beauty, happiness, sorrow or just simply sinking into a chair being taken away by the often engrossing atmosphere, The War On Drugs have crafted a record that is already album of the year material right off the bat. From its amazing musicianship and to its strive to create a story in the listener's mind, everything falls into place quite nicely. Despite some slightly disappointing repetition, Lost In The Dream
nonetheless impresses with its chilled out vibe and overwhelming sincerity.
As soon as the spastic drums kick off in “Under The Pressure,” the listener is assured to be in for quite a unique and evocative ride. The beautiful combination of the guitar riffs and piano melodies mashing together creates a fantastic mood over somewhat comprehensible vocals and an accessible rhythm. This song gives the listener a taste of what to expect in terms of sound and it does so with perfect ease. The immediate catchiness carries over into album single “Red Eyes” and what a single this is. Trust in these words, that the vocals and guitar work will stick in the listener’s head for many days. Though the album definitely specializes in creating an atmosphere both happy and filled with glee, it without a doubt has no problem in embodying a mood full of sorrow and regret. “Suffering” is the first slow song on the album and it says it all just with its song title. The song coveys a heart breaking vibe along with regret filled lyrics and touching piano work. “Disappearing” continues the heartbreak expertly with the driving rhythm and euphoric guitar work. “The Haunting Idle” also expertly conveys hopelessness with its trippy guitar work and swelling strings perfectly.
Though Lost In The Dream
is undeniably top heavy, the second half of the album without a doubt features some beautiful tracks. “Eyes In The Wild” contains some of the best atmospheric elements on the album and “Burning” kicks off with an impressive build up. However, these songs start to reveal that many of these songs start to sound the same after a while. The rhythm section of the album never really changes drastically and we finally start to see some instrumental variety in the title track with the harmonica. The songs in the second half are certainly expertly played and enjoyable nonetheless, but it would have been nice to have seen a couple drumming performances to separate it from the previous track and some variety because after a while the songs start to blend together.
Aside from the repetition and lack of variety Lost In The Dream
already secured a spot for itself on the end of the year lists. It makes fantastic use of piano and guitar under some shoegazing elements and an indie rock sound. The album brings to mind a long road trip with friends due to its upbeat percussion and mostly feel good vibe. Though it has its fair share of dreary tracks, it definitely puts the listener in a happy state of mind. Sometimes the lyrics are not always comprehensible so that only adds to the effect of what the album is trying to convey. It makes for an imaginative listening experience made for the listener to be taken away in its outstanding execution and beauty.