The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream


I really didn’t expect to like this one. References in reviews to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and, above all, Bob Dylan did not set my heart alight. Not to denigrate those artists, but they aren’t my thing. Dylan especially. I’m sure he’s a great lyricist but he’s a dreadful singer and I don’t pay any attention to lyrics. I’d guess that I have no clue what at least 99% of the songs in my collection are about, beyond a stab in the dark based on the song title. So music whose main selling point is its lyrics doesn’t tend to float my boat. However, frequent references to Krautrock, synths, “drone” and “epic”, along with the rave reviews, piqued my interest…

Turns out that they were all right. It has everything described above and as a whole it sounds somehow simultaneously new and old. This is what Classic Rock sound like in 2014. The songs exist on a huge scale but care has been taken over every detail. Within each there are tiny moments – chord changes, guitar flourishes and the like – which are spine-tingling in their timing and execution. The texture (alluded to above) is wonderful, as is the tune-smithery and guitar playing. Yes, he sometimes sneers his lines with tuning ever-so-off (the Dylan comparison) but not enough to matter when everything else is so magnificent.