If for no other reason, Lost In the Dream, the magnificent third longplayer from Philly's The War On Drugs (March 18, Secretly Canadian), should stand as Exhibit A in any argument for why the the full-length album still reigns supreme as an artistic statement. Singles and EP's just don't cut it when the stylistic framework needs to be expansive enough to contain the sonic and thematic ebb and flow. Sometimes songs need the context of other songs. Dream finds core creator Adam Granduciel emerging from a self-described "weird year" of doubt, stress and emotional pain, shaken and then stirred with a new batch of songs, anthemic and atmospheric, that recall past masters (Dylan, Springsteen, Young) while forging an inventive and original sound. Like a fog lifting, Dream is less cluttered and less mannered than previous works with songs like "Burning" given plenty of room to grow and run, Granduciel's voice in sharp relief above the buzzing synths, deep organ swells and layers of guitars, grinding then shimmering. In sum: a brilliant and inspiring album. (There, we said it.) Click through to stream "Eyes to the Wind" and watch "Red Eyes." Stream the full album at NPR.
The War On Drugs - "Burning" (from Lost In The Dream)
The War On Drugs - "Eyes to the Wind" (from Lost In A Dream)